There is of course a big buzz around lithium these days, not least for its use in lithium - ion batteries essential in the burgeoning electric car industry.
MGX reckons global demand will double between 2015 and 2025, mainly due to the rapidly expanding electric vehicle, consumer electronic and green energy sectors.
Lithium- ion charged vehicle sales could total 40 million cars a year by 2040, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the firm quotes on its website.
MGX is taking and developing a novel approach to extracting lithium using a new method of petrolithium.
This is a way of retrieving it from the brine that accompanies petroleum (crude oil) as it’s being pumped up to the surface.
The process can be completed much faster (from 18 months to one day) than solar evaporation and is potentially less expensive than conventional hard-rock mining.
The firm's news focus currently has been in Utah, where the firm is advancing the Paradox Basin project, where it has now consolidates its land position and staked a further 70,000 acres.
It was in February this year it secured the earn-in agreement with Scientific Metals Corp (CVE:STM) allowing it to acquire an initial 50% interest in the Paradox Basin lithium brine property.
It consists of 111 mineral claims encompassing 2,220 acres around four kilometers’ northwest of Intrepid Potash’s Cane Creek operation. So far around eight wells have been drilled with additional historic wells in the immediate area.
Lithium occurs in the basin in oversaturated mineral brine (40% minerals, 60% water) and was discovered during oil exploration when drill wells intercepted the main brine zone of the Paradox formation.
The firm now controls more than 94,000 acres of oil and gas leases and mineral claims in Utah, while across North America as a whole (its other licences are in Alberta), its lithium brine claims now total more than 1.7mln acres.
A milestone came in January this year, when it announced the successful extraction of lithium from oil sands wastewater.
With partner PurLucid it is now preparing for a pilot plant with commercial scale deployment expected during the second half of this year.
The PurLucid deal was struck last November. PurLucid Treatment Solutions Inc developed the water purification system and MGX struck a definitive agreement to acquire up to 100% of PurLucid - an initial 50% by investing C$5 million over the next three years.
So far, MGX has invested C$90,000 into PurLucid for commercialization of its existing patented water purification technology as well as integrating MGX's patent pending lithium and mineral extraction technology. Last year, it said it had initial agreements with a significant number of major oil and gas operators throughout Alberta.
In Utah, MGX has now submitted a permit to drill along with a surface use plan of operations to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Previous geological and seismic information is now under review and preparations are in train for 3-D seismic shoot to understand both lithium and oil bearing structures.
MGX is in talks, it said, with a US based engineering company for drilling and operation of multi- zone wells for maximum flow of oil, gas, lithium and magnesium brine.
MGX also added it expects a project scoping study shortly.
Notably, the firm is advancing its petrolithium projects into production without first establishing mineral resources or completing a feasibility study.