E3 Metals values environmental sustainability by repurposing mature and end of life oil fields and facilities to produce high value Lithium from waste-water brine that remain in these reservoirs. Creating new value with less environmental impact.
Lithium is a chemical element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silver-white metal belonging to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. However, Lithium does not occur as the metal in nature, and is extracted from lithium minerals which can be found in igneous rocks and from lithium chloride salts that can be found in brine pools.
Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, lithium grease, lubricants, flux additives for iron, steel and aluminium production and lithium-ion batteries.
Most of the world's lithium production is in South America, where lithium-containing brine is extracted from underground pools and concentrated by solar evaporation. The standard extraction technique is to evaporate water from brine. Each batch takes from 18 to 24 months.
Commercial lithium production relied upon mineral ore sources such as spodumene, petalite and lepidolite. Extracting lithium from such sources, however, is significantly more costly than extracting the metal from lithium-containing brines. In fact, it is estimated that the cost of extracting lithium from hard rock is double that of producing from brines, explaining why most such sources have been priced out of the market over the past 20 years.