Pure Energy Minerals’ (TSXV: PE) partner, Schlumberger New Energy, announced plans to develop a lithium extraction pilot plant at the Clayton Valley lithium brine project in Nevada.
Plant construction and development will be in the hands of NeoLith Energy, which is a new venture launched by Schlumberger New Energy.
According to the companies, NeoLith Energy’s approach uses a differentiated direct lithium extraction process (DLE) to enable the production of high-purity, battery-grade lithium material while reducing the production time from over a year to weeks.
The plant is being considered the first step towards a full-scale, commercial lithium production facility, which is expected to employ an environmentally friendly method for subsurface brine extraction and lithium production that requires a significantly smaller footprint and reduces water consumption by over 85% compared to existing methods.
In a press release, Schlumberger New Energy said that it has invested more than $15 million in the DLE process technology, and the development and operation of the pilot plant in Nevada will require a similar amount of investment.
“The innovative and sustainable DLE process has the potential to disrupt the lithium economy by opening new opportunities to existing production regions, and to enable new lithium production regions across the globe to meet the growing demand,” the statement reads.
The Clayton Valley project is owned by Pure Energy and operated by Schlumberger New Energy. It comprises 948 claims over 9,450 hectares, representing the largest mineral land holdings in the Clayton Valley.