Yesterday, MGX Minerals Inc. announced filing of a technical report on its rapid lithium extraction process, which is capable of treating contaminant-laden oilfield wastewasters in an environmentally beneficial way, plus revocering lithium. Clearly, the performance is superior and meets a broad spectrum of treatment needs in the oil and gas industry as producers are currently disposing such wastewaters at high costs.
Last week, MGX reported third party verification results of its patent-pending technologies (see Rockstone Report here). The independent engineering group Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) tested the process from phase-1.
In February, MGX and its technology partner, PurLucid Treatment Solutions, started phase-2 testing with newly incorporated brine pre-treatment and concentration process designs (i.e. SRC did not test the optimized phase-2 process but only the phase-1 design; nevertheless, the results reported by SRC were highly positive in the sense that the method is successful in removing most contaminants and extracting lithium with overall recoveries of 83.7%; clearly, a landmark achievement in the lithium industry as conventional solar evaporation requires some 18 months whereafter the concentrated brine must get processed further to purify the lithium to acceptable levels for the use in batteries).
“The Wall of Evolution“ in Tesla Motors‘ Fremont Factory in California, USA: “There are a number of reasons why so many people have become Tesla fanatics. Of course, the amazing vehicles Tesla has created or is planning to create are a big part of that. However, there are several other factors behind that fanaticism as well. Some examples that come to mind for me are: Elon Musk’s direct honesty and humility, Elon Musk’s intense determination, Elon Musk’s clear concern for humanity and helping society as a whole, the way Elon Musk uses Twitter to make or tease big announcements (hmm, a lot of these are centered around Musk himself, aren’t they?), the way Tesla changed the game when it came to selling cars (i.e., online and in Apple Tesla stores in malls), the way Tesla engages in fun and clever guerrilla advertising (or does all of that just come from Tesla’s fans?), and the cool and geeky things it incorporates into its work just for fun (or perhaps more guerrilla advertising and an innovative employee happiness program).“ Source: CleanTechnica
The newly incorporated filtration technology and process optimization tools in phase-2 were tested in 4 consecutive bench-scale trials, with results reported as per below table (change in % added by Rockstone).
The Step 1 Permeate demonstrates the limited lithium loss during the initial environmental treatment (deoiling and scale reduction) of oilfield brines for reuse. Alone this achievement in cleaning the toxic wastewaters could emerge as a core business for MGX, whereas the second step aims to extract lithium and other valuable metal salts.
From the original Sturgeon Lake oiflfield brine of 67 mg/L lithium, a concentration of 1,600 and 1,951 mg/L lithium was achieved (+2,288% respectively +2,812%).
The resulting brines/concentrates contained significantly fewer impurities; notably:
Calcium (-98.39% respectively -98.2%; in phase-1: only -25%)
Potassium (-99.73% respectively 99.8%; in phase-1: only -45%)
Magnesium (-99.54% respectively -98.6%)
Boron (-97% respectively -95%)
Sodium (-99.88% respectively -99.91%)
With these results differing significantly from phase-1 (which SRC tested), MGX plans to conduct a second round of independent testing with SRC once the upgraded design process is finalized.
In order to have lithium with a purity acceptable for the use in batteries, MGX can simply upgrade its carbonate product by a mid-tier tolling partner to a 99.9% carbonate or a 99.99% hydroxide for use in batteries. A shortage of lithium feedstock has resulted in excess capacity in the upgrader market, where margins are thin and a $1,000 per tonne upgrade cost (from carbonate to hydroxide) can result in a substanial gain for MGX from an estimated $10,000 to $13,000 per tonne.
The filed Technical Report discusses the recovery of lithium solids, which are currently undergoing analysis for purity and crystallinity by x-ray diffraction and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. Also discussed in the Technical Report are ongoing trials in oil industry wastewater treatment and the suitability of these waters as sources for subsequent lithium recovery. Excellent results have been achieved in oil removal (>99%) from waters with free and emulsified oil concentrations as high as 20,000 mg/L. Silica and other scale forming ions (chalky deposit caused by evaporation) have been removed across a range of industrial brines making these waters suitable for further processing in lithium recovery and/or for reuse in the oil industry. The Technical Report can be viewed on SEDAR or at the end of this report.
With independent process verification in hand, along with a maiden Technical Report, MGX is now in a position to potentially attract tolling partners, lithium end-users, lithium miners, oil and gas producers, as well as water handling companies. As MGX plans to commercially deploy its technologies by mid-2017, the time for major service agreements appears to be now.
MGX Minerals Inc.
#303 - 1080 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6C 2T1
Phone: +1 604 681 7735
Shares Issued & Outstanding: 62,130,378
Canadian Symbol (CSE): XMG
Current Price: $1.08 CAD (04/26/2017)
Market Capitalization: $67 Million CAD
German Symbol / WKN (Tradegate): 1MG / A12E3P
Current Price: €0.72 EUR (04/26/2017)
Market Capitalization: €45 Million EUR
Report #20 “Successful Independent Verification of the MGX Lithium Extraction Technology“
Report #19 “MGX to Drill the World‘s First PetroLithium Well in Utah“
Report #18 “MGX Reports Upgrading of Lithium Brine from 67 to 1600 ppm Lithium“
Report #17 “MGX technology nominated for prestigious Katerva Award, the Nobel Prize of Sustainability“
Report #16 “Unconventional oil play legend Marc Bruner to take MGX and PetroLithium to the next level“
Report #15 “Total Conviction: MGX forms PetroLithium Corp. to expand into the US oilfield brine markets“
Report #14: “MGX Extracts Lithium from Oil Wastewater - Begins Monumental Integration with Big Oil“
Report #13 "MGX Partners with Oil Major on Lithium Brine, New Energy Industry Facing Fundamental Shift“
Report #12 "Game Changing Potential: MGX Minerals‘ Pilot Plant for Rapid Production of Lithium Nears Completion“
Report #11 "MGX assays 34 g/t gold from surface sampling in British Columbia“
Report #10 “Official: MGX owns magnesium worth multi-billions of dollars and starts pilot plant shortly“
Report #9 “One of the world‘s largest lithium resources on the horizon?“
Report #8 “Ready for significant lithium brine work in Alberta“
Report #7 “At the forefront of Alberta‘s lithium brine riches“
Report #6 “Pioneering Lithium in Alberta: MGX Minerals Teams Up“
Report #5 “Time to Put a Lithium Production Process in Place“
Report #4 “MGX Minerals Taps Into Canada‘s Potentially Largest High-Grade Lithium Resources“
Report #3 “MGX Minerals Receives Mining Lease for 20 years (in British Columbia!)“
Report #2 “MGX Minerals Accelerates Towards Production“
Report #1 “MGX Minerals Plans To Enter The Magnesium Market“
Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist. The author hold a long position in MGX Minerals Inc. and is being paid a monthly retainer from Zimtu Capital Corp., which company also holds a long position in MGX Minerals Inc.