International Battery Metals Announces Search for Partners in Clean Lithium Extraction

Published June 16, 2023

International Battery Metals (IBAT), a lithium extraction company that boasts a patented technology to obtain lithium more efficiently and with a lower environmental impact, has announced that it is looking for partners in exploring and developing potential lithium extracting sites in the US.

IBAT’s mobile modular direct lithium extraction method can be used in a wide variety of areas and can obtain more battery-grade lithium from brine than the traditional evaporative method. It is also able to recover 98% of the water it uses, making it less damaging to freshwater systems. Conventional lithium extraction is controversial for its negative effect on the freshwater aquifers of the Atacama Plateau in South America, which has led to the displacement of Indigenous communities.

Dr John Burba, IBAT Chairman and Director of Global Technology, says that North America holds significant lithium reserves, but these are relatively undeveloped compared to South America. Demand for lithium currently exceeds supply, and this demand is expected to grow from presently around 800,000 tons a year to 2.5 million tons by 2030. This makes lithium an incredibly lucrative investment, with excellent potential for profit.

“There are many undeveloped sources of brine and lithium in the US, and they come in a variety of forms. These include the Imperial Valley in Southern California, which could hold some of the largest lithium deposits in the world. The Clayton Valley in Nevada has brine structures that are more similar to those found in South America, but these are not nearly as well-developed geologically. There are also some deposits located in Utah and Nevada.”

Burba says there are lots of subterranean brine deposits across the US that could be harvested alongside oil and gas production, and that these are the most interesting for IBAT. The company is looking to partner with entities that own or have access to lithium-rich areas but lack the means to effectively extract and utilize the lithium. They expect these partnerships to be long-term agreements to extract lithium and not just mere selling or leasing out of IBAT’s equipment.

“Having a direct lithium extraction plant typically costs more than $600 million and takes six to seven years to build. Our patented mobile modular direct lithium extraction technology allows a prefabricated plant to be built at a fraction of the time and cost, greatly decreasing the required capital expenditure and time to market. We are looking to sign cooperative agreements or joint ventures, where our partners provide the resources, while we provide the equipment, the technology, and take care of the operational matters,” Burba says.

Media contact:
Name: Jeanne Piga Plunkett

Release ID: 644217

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