Lilac Solutions Celebrates Successful Completion of Kachi Demonstration Plant
Lilac Solutions, a leader in lithium extraction technology solutions, is pleased to announce the completion of the Kachi Demonstration Plant, achieved in collaboration with Lake Resources (ASX: LKE). The plant successfully achieved all technical and operational targets including high lithium recovery and minimal water usage. This accomplishment represents a pivotal step in the company’s mission of scaling lithium supply for the energy transition while minimizing local environmental impacts.
The Kachi Project is a lithium brine project lead by Lake Resources in Argentina’s Catamarca province. In September 2021, Lilac Solutions and Lake Resources entered into an agreement with Lilac providing ion exchange (IX) technology, engineering, and an on-site demonstration plant. Through this partnership, Lilac Solutions has earned a 20 percent equity stake in the Kachi Project, and is on track to increase this to 25 percent. Since being commissioned in October 2022 at the remote project site, the demonstration plant has undergone extensive operations, displaying best-in-class Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) performance.
- High Performance DLE: The demonstration plant showcases Lilac’s ion exchange technology for lithium extraction, achieving high lithium recoveries (Figure 1) and impurity rejection rates (Table 1 & 2) consistent with results from prior Oakland mini-pilot testing and with engineering for the Kachi Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).
- Environmentally Sustainable. The Lilac Technology eliminates the need for evaporation ponds traditionally used for processing brine. The technology also reduces freshwater by approximately 10x relative to conventional DLE technologies based on aluminum absorbents. Acid reagents can be produced from sodium chloride on-site and are neutralized back to sodium chloride after use.
- Scalability and Operability: The demonstration plant and commercial scale plant use off-the-shelf equipment that is common in industrial applications and available globally from a variety of well-established vendors. The demonstration plant vessels, which hold the ion-exchange material, are approximately one-third the size of commercial-scale vessels. This significantly reduces scale-up risk and increases process uptime. The demonstration plant operated continuously 24/7, while achieving 90% uptime during planned operations. Notably, the Kachi Demonstration Plant has processed more than 5.2 million liters of brine and produced over 200,000 liters of concentrated LiCl product.
- Third Party Validation: The outstanding performance of the demonstration plant has been independently verified in support of the Kachi Project DFS. Key performance metrics verified via the demonstration plant, provide the basis for process parameters in the Kachi DFS, including high lithium recoveries (80%), high impurity rejection rates (99.9%), and low acid consumption.
- Battery Grade Lithium Carbonate: The LiCl concentrate product is easily converted to battery grade lithium carbonate through conventional processing. Both Lilac and Saltworks have successfully produced battery grade lithium carbonate using the product from the demonstration plant, with Saltworks producing over 1,300 kg of lithium carbonate using the same feed.
Lilac is also pleased to announce that separate long-term ion exchange studies using Kachi brine have resulted in continuous lithium production for over 12 months and over 2,000 cycles of ion-exchange, without replacement of Lilac’s proprietary ion-exchange media. As illustrated in Figure 2, this ion exchange study is still operating past 2,000 cycles as of December 2023.
Successful completion of demonstration plant operations marks another key step in Lilac’s mission to deliver scalable lithium supply for the electric era. The results provide further proof that Lilac’s technology can deliver scalable supplies of lithium without evaporation ponds and with minimal fresh water. This protects precious water resources in an arid environment and safeguards surrounding communities and ecosystems.
“The completion of the Kachi Demo Plant reflects a turning point in the lithium industry,” said Dave Snydacker, CEO of Lilac Solutions. “For 30 years, the lithium brine industry has struggled with pre-concentration requirements, low lithium recoveries, and high water consumption associated with conventional DLE technology. Lilac’s unique ion exchange technology represents a new era for DLE and for lithium production. Completion of our demo plant positions the Kachi lithium brine project for the next stage of development with continued partnership between Lilac and Lake Resources.”
About Lilac Solutions
Lilac Solutions is a lithium extraction technology company based in Oakland,
California. Lilac has developed a patented ion exchange technology that facilitates production of
lithium from brine resources with high efficiency, minimal cost, and ultra-low environmental
footprint. Lilac’s mission is to scale global lithium production to support the electric vehicle
industry and energy transition.
For more information, please visit https://www.lilacsolutions.com/