Northern Lithium, a privately-owned mineral exploration and development company, used saline brines extracted from the Northern Pennine Orefield, in the northeast of England. The brines were then processed at a specialist pilot plant in Widnes, northwest of England, using new Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology developed by Evove.
Trials conducted at Evove’s newly opened DLE Test Centre in August have so far produced around 2 kilograms of battery-grade lithium carbonate at a purity level above 99.5%, confirming the commercial potential of Northern Lithium’s saline brines.
Lithium is a critical raw material in the manufacture of rechargeable batteries.
“The quality and quantity of lithium carbonate that has been produced at industrial scale is incredibly exciting,” said Nick Pople, managing director of Northern Lithium. “The material produced by Evove’s DLE membrane filtration technology confirms the purity of our brines and ability to deliver a commercially viable solution. It is a huge step forward and gives us the green light to quickly begin scaling up activities.”
“We have developed a strong partnership with Northern Lithium, enabling us to move rapidly to deliver this significant milestone,” said Dr Chris Wyres, CEO of Evove. “Processing large quantities of real brines validates the industrial scalability of our DLE solution and its ability to produce high purity battery-grade materials, both cost effectively and sustainably.”
“Northern Lithium’s brines are some of the easiest and cleanest saline brines we have tested to date,” continued Dr Wyres. “This would make them relatively cheap and straightforward to process on a commercial scale, meaning low operating and capital costs.”
The two companies are already working on a commercial-scale processing plant to allow Northern Lithium to deliver full-scale battery-grade lithium production at its first County Durham site.