Production of Battery-Grade Lithium Carbonate From Canadian Brine Resource With EMP Metals and ROK Resources

Dec 7th 2023

Saltworks Technologies (“Saltworks”) is delighted to contribute to Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy through the advancement of lithium refinement technology.

On December 5th, EMP Metals announced Saltworks’ production of 99.95% pure, battery-grade lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) from their Canadian brine resource. Saltworks is proud to have completed the lithium refining process development and pilot execution for Canadian-based EMP Metals Corp. (“EMP”) and ROK Resources Inc. (“ROK”).

Lithium brine sourced from EMP and ROK’s Saskatchewan resource was processed through a third-party direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology. Subsequently, it was refined into battery-grade lithium carbonate by Saltworks’ proprietary concentrate, refine, convert (CRC) technology.

With that, the successful completion of this project has resulted in:

  • Flow sheet confirmation and de-risking enabling accelerated full-scale development.
  • Production of multiple samples of high-purity battery-grade lithium carbonate.

In addition, the technologies employed reduce the cost, energy, and chemicals required to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate by removing the need for costly evaporators and more complex two-step lithium carbonate re-alkalization reactors. The results de-risk and accelerate the design and delivery of what could become Canada’s first, full-scale, battery-grade lithium chemical plant.

The data in Table 1 below are substantiated by independent third-party laboratory testing from Kemetco Research Inc. (Richmond, BC).

Table 1: Produced Lithium Carbonate Chemical Analysis Summary

Battery-Grade Spec Li2CO3 Produced Li2CO3
Li2CO3 wt% 99.5% 99.95%
H2O wt% <0.5% <0.5%
Na wt% <0.05% 0.0146%
Ca wt% <0.04% 0.0027%
Fe wppm <5 <5
Al wppm <10 <5
Cu wppm <5 <5
Ni wppm <6 <2.5
Cl wt% <0.01% <0.002%
SO4 wt% <0.1% 0.0129%

Note: wt%, weight percentage; wppm, weight parts per million.

Saltworks’ CRC technology employs many of the same industrial desalination unit operations the firm builds and dispatches for full-scale zero liquid discharge and selective contaminant removal projects. After all, lithium mining is water mining. 

Saltworks’ leading high-salinity water processing technology is ideally suited for the lithium industry, as evidenced by the assembly of Canada’s first brine-to-battery lithium refinery. With proven full-scale production and project delivery systems in place, Saltworks is thrilled to support the acceleration of lithium projects. 

For more details on the advancement, benefits, and applications of our CRC lithium refining technology, contact our experts today.

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and lithium refining. By working with customers to understand their unique challenges and focusing on continuous innovation, Saltworks’ solutions provide best-in-class performance and reliability. From its headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada, Saltworks’ team designs, builds, and operates full-scale plants, and offers comprehensive onsite and offsite testing services with its fleet of mobile pilots.

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