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International Battery Metals signs term sheet for deployment of modular direct lithium extraction plant

International Battery Metals Ltd (IBAT) has signed a term sheet for deployment of its modular direct lithium extraction plant (MDLE plant) with a customer in the western United States.

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The MDLE plant utilizes IBATs’ proprietary selective absorption media minimizing the use of chemicals, reducing by-product waste, and recovering over 98% of process water. The customer is a significant producer of metals and minerals including the production of battery grade lithium carbonate. IBAT will immediately begin mobilizing the MDLE plant to the customer's site where it will be integrated into existing production facilities. The initial targeted production, following commissioning, is approximately 4,000 metric tons per annum of lithium carbonate with the goal of increasing this production to over 8,000 metric tons per annum by optimizing the MDLE Plant. The integrated system will represent the first commercial direct lithium extraction operation to go online in North America.

The term sheet provides for mobilization fees and cost sharing arrangements for the commissioning and optimization of the MDLE plant. Once the MDLE plant completes the initial commissioning, the term sheet also provides that IBAT will be entitled to monthly equipment rentals and royalties based on the volumes produced and the realized sales value of the lithium carbonate. Additionally, the customer will have certain options to purchase the MDLE plant while IBAT will retain all the technology rights, the royalties, and be the exclusive supplier of the absorption media to the customer.

"We are very excited for this opportunity to reach full commercialization and look forward to future developments with our outstanding customer," said John Burba, founder and chief technology officer of IBAT.

"We are very pleased with achieving this significant milestone for IBAT. The opportunity to integrate our MDLE plant with a customer who has existing production facilities is an outstanding outcome, accelerating the full commercialization of our technology and achieving meaningful product revenues," said Garry Flowers, co-CEO of IBAT.

Michel Libor, co-CEO of IBAT, added: “Accomplishing first commercial revenue is a major milestone for any company. The business and operational benefits that we expect will flow to us from the transaction contemplated by this term sheet is a credit to the IBAT team and their perseverance. This is an exciting opportunity to launch our commercial operations and begin growing the company.”

The MDLE plant uses IBAT's proprietary selective absorption lithium media to extract lithium from brine fluids. The MDLE plant was originally constructed in Lake Charles, Louisiana where it was extensively tested and received independent third-party validation of its operational performance. The modular design of the MDLE plant will allow it to be mobilized to the customer’s facilities. Once the MDLE Plant is operational, the MDLE Plant will be optimized to increase its production capacity. This optimization will consist of adding additional extraction modules, containing IBAT's proprietary selective absorption lithium media, and increasing certain valves and pumps to accommodate additional flow of brines.