Thursday 17th August 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘Voltaic Minerals Corp (VLT)’

Chemical engineer and Voltaic Minerals project manager Tom Currin comments on his research into selective extraction from lithium brines

July 21st, 2017

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Voltaic Minerals encouraged by lithium brine extraction tests

June 15th, 2017

by Greg Klein | June 15, 2017

The goal of quicker, cheaper lithium extraction came closer as Voltaic Minerals TSXV:VLT announced progress on a new technique to separate the battery mineral from brines. Conducted by Lithium Selective Technologies at its northern California facility, initial tests produced significant enhancement of lithium concentration and lithium-calcium ratios, LiST stated. The company’s staff have over 85 combined years of related experience.

Voltaic Minerals encouraged by lithium brine extraction tests

Lithium occurs with other minerals in an over-
saturated brine at Voltaic’s Green Energy project in Utah.

Their tests apply techniques already used commercially in mineral extraction and water treatment but new to lithium production. The techniques were adapted to an artificial brine based on historic fluid analysis from Voltaic’s Green Energy project in Utah.

Historic data from oil and gas exploration shows lithium-bearing brine originating from clastic units on the 1,683-hectare property, where the company hopes to begin sampling this summer.

“We are extremely optimistic that increased selectivity performance and concentration enhancement can be expected as optimization testing proceeds,” said William Bourcier of LiST.

As research continues, the two companies have extended their exclusivity agreement while a definitive agreement could follow further tests. Meanwhile the initial results will undergo third-party verification. The final outcome could be marketed to other lithium brine projects.

“If successful, this process could create value from known resources in the U.S. and globally,” added Voltaic project manager and 35-year chemical engineer Tom Currin.

Read more about Voltaic Minerals and the selective extraction project.

Voltaic Minerals project manager Tom Currin comments on selective extraction tests for the company’s Green Energy lithium brine project in Utah

May 19th, 2017

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Lab work evaluates Voltaic Minerals’ potential for domestic U.S. lithium

April 11th, 2017

by Greg Klein | April 11, 2017

A California lab now has lithium extraction tests underway that could prove productive for Voltaic Minerals’ (TSXV:VLT) Green Energy property in Utah, as well as other lithium brine projects. Lithium Selective Technologies has begun work on an artificial brine similar to that determined by historic fluid analysis at Green Energy. With a team comprising 85 years of related experience, LiST endeavours to find a selection process for non-conventional brines.

Lab work evaluates Voltaic Minerals’ potential for domestic U.S. lithium

Selective extraction could open Utah’s potential
for unconventional sources of lithium brine.

The result could open lithium brine potential closer to Tesla’s Gigafactories, without relying on the huge evaporation ponds and exceedingly dry climate that characterize South American deposits.

“If successful, this process could create value from known resources in the U.S. and globally,” said Tom Currin. A 35-year chemical engineer, the Voltaic project manager and LiST principal has extensive experience in lithium projects and selective extraction. “The company is incorporating selective techniques used commercially in mineral extraction and water treatment in a novel fashion to achieve a result not yet seen in the lithium process sector.”

Phase I would take about 90 days and should provide enough data for the two companies to sign a definitive agreement to further develop and market the process.

Last week Voltaic announced an agreement with Stormcrow Capital to provide strategic, technical and business support. Led by Jon Hykawy, a physicist with an MBA in marketing who’s a recognized expert in critical and energy minerals, Stormcrow will introduce Voltaic to potential investors and partners, as well as offer technical analysis regarding selective extraction.

Historic oil and gas exploration data shows lithium-bearing brine originating from clastic units on the 1,683-hectare Green Energy property. Voltaic’s next steps include re-opening the wellheads to conduct sampling, expected to begin in spring or summer.

Voltaic Minerals project manager Thomas Currin discusses a selective extraction process for lithium

December 15th, 2016

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Voltaic Minerals verifies brine flow, works towards bulk sampling on Utah lithium project

December 12th, 2016

by Greg Klein | December 12, 2016

A thorough review of historic data confirms brine flow on Voltaic Minerals’ (TSXV:VLT) Green Energy lithium project in Utah’s Paradox Basin. Analysis shows that brine flow in five oil and gas exploration wells originated from multiple sources including four of the property’s clastic units.

Voltaic Minerals verifies brine flow, works towards bulk sampling on Utah lithium project

Already figuring prominently in a 3D model created earlier by Voltaic, clastic unit #14 was historically intercepted in three wells at an average depth of about 1,900 metres and measured 6.1 metres thick.

To follow up, Voltaic hopes to re-open historic well heads for bulk sampling, potentially confirming a lithium-bearing zone, as well as verifying brine data including flow rates, temperature and metallurgy.

Historic data reports brine carrying lithium up to 187 milligrams per litre on the 1,683-hectare property and up to 1,700 mg/l 150 metres east.

The company also continues its work with newly appointed director/project manager Thomas Currin and Enertrex Corp to develop a selective lithium extraction process that would cut time and costs, with a plan to market the process to other companies.

Read more about Voltaic Minerals.

Lithium: from brine to market

November 29th, 2016

Voltaic Minerals aims to simplify extraction and commercialize the process

by Greg Klein

Update: With Thomas Currin a principal in the company, Lithium Selective Technologies has taken the place of Enertrex Corp in the selective extraction studies.

Cost of production and timeline to market—those are critical issues for any project in the increasingly crowded lithium space. And that’s what attracted Thomas Currin to Voltaic Minerals TSXV:VLT. The newly appointed director/project manager sees the company’s Green Energy project in Utah’s Paradox Basin as highly prospective for creating a selective extraction process that would address both challenges. With Currin on board, Voltaic hopes not only to develop a successful project but to market the process to other companies.

“Some people like to classify lithium as a commodity, but it’s a specialty chemical,” Currin explains. “In the specialty chemical business you don’t separate R&D and process development from manufacturing. A good specialty chemical company is one that’s been able to integrate all those applications.

Voltaic Minerals wants to simplify extraction and commercialize the process

“I’m a chemical engineer who’s been in the manufacturing process in the lithium field for 35 years,” he adds. “With a manufacturing process background everything is about opex and capex, and how to optimize both.”

Having managed lithium extraction projects in Chile, Peru, Mexico, Canada and the U.S., he’s worked for FMC Lithium, Li3 Energy, his own company Limtech Technologies and currently Enertrex Corp, which signed an MOU with Voltaic late last month.

As technical consultant for Enertrex he’s been working with two PhDs on selective removal of specific minerals from wastewater streams and geothermal brines. “We’ve come up with a technology that can extract lithium selectively, so we were looking for a project that could commercialize our technology. I’ve seen pretty much every lithium project in the world over the last 10 to 15 years, and what attracted me to Voltaic and the Paradox Basin are the oil and gas wells in a Basin that also has lithium salts and potassium salts.”

Located about 965 kilometres from the Tesla Motors Gigafactory and close to road, rail, power and the Intrepid Potash NYSE:IPI Cane Creek solution mine, the 1,683-hectare Green Energy property underwent oil and gas drilling during the 1960s. Historic analysis of regional drilling showed lithium in saturated brines grading 81 mg to 174 mg per litre.

“Here’s a project with historic wells, historic data, a few kilometres from a facility producing potash which is a very similar salt to lithium, and a company that realizes that time to market is critical.

“It seemed like a perfect match, the place to do process development work in parallel with resource development and demonstrate Enertrex’s lithium-specific process. If we could remove the lithium economically, we could market it to other lithium projects. The technology would be a paradigm-shifter.”

After evaluating historic data, Voltaic plans to re-perforate some of the wells and draw samples. While the company evaluates Green Energy’s resource potential, Currin will study the concentrations of lithium and impurities like magnesium, calcium and boron to develop the processing chemistry.

That’s what we’re taking advantage of—existing technologies, proven systems that we can re-configure to extract the lithium from a saturated impurity stream. With all the other technologies, you have to remove all the impurities before you extract the lithium. That’s a tremendous cost.—Thomas Currin,
director/project manager
for Voltaic Minerals

“Sampling traditionally takes 20-litre amounts, but our first sample will be 20,000 litres so we can start processing it,” he explains. “Our money will be invested in developing not only a 43-101 resource but also a process by which we can be competitive.”

Call it optimistic or aggressive, Voltaic believes a property of merit could potentially offer customers a 100-kilogram sample of lithium carbonite within 14 months. Plans call for three 90-day testing phases into H2 of next year, when work would overlap with pilot-scale processing.

“This isn’t my first rodeo,” Currin notes.

With Limtech he developed a selective process to extract and concentrate silica from geothermal brines, which won the company a 2016 Outstanding Partnership Regional Award from the U.S. Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer.

He’s also worked on selective lithium-ion exchange resins with FMC and, in his client project work, evaluated the use of several lithium-selective solvent exchange systems.

“The membrane technology for de-salinization has become much more economical, that technology has blossomed in the last 10 years, and that’s what we’re taking advantage of—existing technologies, proven systems that we can re-configure to extract the lithium from a saturated impurity stream. With all the other technologies, you have to remove all the impurities before you extract the lithium. That’s a tremendous cost.”

In addition to replacing the lengthy solar evaporation stage, the process would feature a modular design that could speed progress from pilot plant to production. With Green Energy’s existing wells, the project’s fast-track potential looks good, he maintains.

Should success be achieved there, the process could be applied to deposits with different metallurgy, making the technique marketable to other companies.

“Chilean brines are the most cost-effective sources of lithium in the world,” he says. “But there’s growing demand for sources outside South America. Our selective extraction process could help other projects compete with the Lithium Triangle.”

Voltaic Minerals signs MOU for lithium brine extraction tests and marketing program

October 31st, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 31, 2016

Moving forward with its Green Energy project, Voltaic Minerals TSXV:VLT plans to team up with Enertrex Corp to study lithium brine extraction and a possible global marketing program. Under an MOU announced October 31, Enertrex would determine whether its selective lithium process might be used commercially at the 1,683-hectare Utah property.

Voltaic Minerals signs MOU for lithium brine extraction tests and marketing program

The process “replaces solar evaporation and much of the traditional chemical treatment to remove impurities such as magnesium, calcium and boron,” Voltaic stated. “A key cost driver for a successful lithium project is managing the prohibitive cost of impurity removal from a solution.”

The first of three phases would test a synthetic mixture resembling historic results collected from the property. Should that prove successful, optimization of the process would follow, as well as testing other lithium brines and feed stocks. Phase III would call for construction and demonstration of a pilot unit to test the lithium-bearing solution and determine operating costs. This step would also test brine from other sources.

The companies expect each phase to take 90 days. Should all three phases prove successful, the partners will work together to commercialize the process, with Voltaic having exclusive rights to market the procedure.

Earlier this month Voltaic announced completion of a 3D model supporting historic evidence of a brine reservoir extending over 16 square kilometres.

The Green Energy project sits 30 kilometres from rail and power.

Voltaic Minerals completes data analysis for Utah lithium project

October 14th, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 14, 2016

Voltaic Minerals completes data analysis for Utah lithium project

With the first phase of work wrapped up, Voltaic Minerals TSXV:VLT now readies for a brine sampling program on its Green Energy lithium project in Utah. The company analyzed publicly accessible historic oil well drilling and geophysical data to create a 3D model.

Data from eight wells indicates Clastic Bed #31 ranges from 5.5 metres to 11.3 metres thick, sitting at depths of 1,830 metres to 1,982 metres. The bed consists of 9.2 metres of shale, anhydrite and dolomite and is not considered part of any oil reservoir, the company stated. “The findings are concurrent with engineering reports from the 1960s which concluded that the brine reservoir is extensive” at over 16 square kilometres.

The 1,683-hectare property on the Colorado Plateau has rail and power 30 kilometres away.

Correction: Voltaic Minerals to vend Nevada property, builds 3D model of Utah lithium project

August 17th, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 17, 2016

Under a memorandum of understanding announced August 17, Voltaic Minerals TSXV:VLT would sell a lithium property acquired by staking. Subject to approvals, Macarthur Minerals TSXV:MMS would buy the 2,300-hectare Stonewall property in Nevada for two million shares and US$50,000.

Voltaic Minerals signs MOU for Nevada lithium property, builds 3D model of Utah project

In neighbouring Utah, Voltaic began Phase I work on its Green Energy lithium project in June. Using historic drill results and estimates, the company stated it would build a 3D model to “better understand the potential lithium-bearing horizon known as Clastic Unit #31 and to identify prospective wellhead locations for re-entry or drilling of new wells.”

Records dating back to the 1950s include results of approximately 100 oil well drill holes as well as seismic data. Only three historic holes were sampled for lithium.

The program’s preliminary budget estimate comes to less than $200,000. Voltaic closed a $765,000 private placement in May.