MGX Minerals Inc (CVE:XMG) and its partner PurLucid Treatment Solutions have made a great stride forward in their lithium brine processing efforts, sending shares higher.
A pre-treatment test from a sample shipped from the US removed high levels of magnesium in the form of magnesium hydroxide, which can also be used as an industrial mineral.
"Magnesium in brine, often referred to as hardness in water, has traditionally been one of the major issues in processing of lithium concentrate," Jared Lazerson, the chief executive at MGX, told investors.
"The lithium magnesium ratio was traditionally one of the primary factors in consideration of the viability of lithium brine projects.
"One of the major factors in development of South American brine sources was the relatively low magnesium content. Alternatively, high magnesium content brine sources have been slow to develop such as those in the United States, China, and the Middle East for this reason," said Lazerson.
"Removal of very high levels of magnesium opens up a large number of global lithium brine sources for consideration that were previously considered too high in magnesium.
"This represents a triumph of technology over perceived resource quality, in particular, that the magnesium has been extracted in a common form of widely used industrial mineral compound."
The pre-treatment removed all of the 76,000 mg/L of magnesium, reducing the post treatment concentration to non-detect levels from lithium brine bulk samples shipped from a US site currently under evaluation.
MGX also said on Monday that construction of its first commercial brine treatment system for rapid lithium recovery was nearly finished.
The NFLi5 (120 cubic meter per day / 750 bwpd) unit will be ready for deployment in November, it said.
PurLucid has opened a new commissioning facility in Sherwood Park, Alberta, which will be used to assemble and commission units as well as in-house ongoing research and development activities.
Water treatment only units for the Alberta oilfields are currently being manufactured, with three additional commercial units are now being built.
PurLucid expects to deploy the first unit in late 2017 with subsequent units being deployed in early 2018.
PurLucid's patented nanoflotation technology was designed specifically to be used on oilfields.
It separates impurities from oil and gas wastewater and produces clean water as a final product, reducing or getting rid of downhole and associated transportation costs.
Water handling costs are one of the largest operating costs in the oilfield and oilsands operations today.
Shares raced up on Monday almost 15% in Toronto to C$0.93 each, and on Tuesday gained over 5% to C$1.03 each.