VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA / November 14, 2016 / MGX Minerals Inc. (“MGX” or the “Company”) (CSE: XMG / FKT: 1MG / OTC: MGXMF) is pleased to report that the water purification and pre-treatment unit for MGX’s lithium extraction pilot plant has now been completed (see Figure 1).
The unit has been received and integration of MGX’s lithium extraction technology is now underway. The water purification system was developed by PurLucid Treatment Solutions Inc. (“PurLucid”) and utilizes patented technologies that revolutionize flotation and filtration. These front-end components are designed to remove particulate and dissolved material, including dissolved and emulsified oil, colloids and heavy metals, that might otherwise interfere with the mineral extraction phase.
This is an essential step in providing a clean and consistent flow of lithium-bearing brine and other minerals to the extraction phase. The pilot plant unit is designed to process 12 cubic meters of brine per day and will lay the groundwork for, results dependent, an initial modular commercial plant capable of processing 1,200 cubic meters per day.
The system is designed to extract lithium and other valuable minerals from oilfield brine that is generated as a byproduct in oil and gas production. The commercial units are being designed to be scalable and modular, allowing for deployment into small and large oilfields alike.
MGX controls minerals rights that encompass more than 376,000 hectares of lithium-bearing oilfield brine properties throughout Alberta. These oilfields currently generate over one million barrels per day (bpd) of salt brine. The Company is in negotiations, and has initial agreements in place with a significant number of major oil and gas operators throughout Alberta.
MGX and PurLucid have now entered into a definitive agreement (the “Agreement”) which allows the Company to acquire up to 100% of PurLucid (see press release dated September 15, 2016). The comprehensive Agreement replaces the binding LOI and outlines an investment plan whereby MGX will acquire an initial 50% interest in PurLucid through investment of up to CA$5 million over the next three years to integrate and commercialize lithium extraction technology and PurLucid’s advanced water purification technology.
To date MGX has invested CA$90,000 into PurLucid for development and commercialization of its existing patented water purification technology as well as integration of MGX’s patent pending lithium and mineral extraction technology.
These integrated technologies are being designed specifically for oilfield environments. In addition to mineral extraction, these combined technologies benefit in cleaning water from oilfield brines, allowing for recycling or potentially controlled release of water, thereby eliminating downhole or alternative storage, which represents one of the largest environmental issues facing the oil and gas industry today.
On November 8th, 2016 MGX filed United States Provisional Patent #62/419,011 entitled “A Method for Extraction of Lithium from Salt Brine” (see press release dated November 10, 2016). The patent application is extensive and comprehensive in its description of a modern industrial process that may significantly advance both operating and development timelines for lithium carbonate recovery from brines.
Traditionally, lithium brine is evaporated outdoors in large settling ponds before being processed. Evaporation represents a time-consuming process (up to 18 months) that is vulnerable to rain or snow and associated with low recoveries of less than 50%. Additionally, the evaporation technique creates a massive environmental footprint with evaporation ponds requiring hundreds of acres.
Provisional Patent #62/419,011 covers a proprietary processing method that proposes to recover lithium carbonate from salt brines while altogether eliminating conventional solar evaporation techniques. The recovery process has been specifically designed and optimized for the highly mineralized salt brine associated with MGX's Alberta lithium property portfolio.
MGX Minerals is actively working on bringing its Alberta Lithium Portfolio into production. However, readers are cautioned that the Company has not completed a pre-feasibility or feasibility study which establishes mineral reserves with demonstrated economic and technical viability. Further, the Company cautions readers that any potential production may not be economically feasible and historically projects taken to production without establishing reserves through a feasibility study have a much higher risk of economic or technical failure.
Figure 1. Pilot Plant Unit