Weekly Lithium Lowdown with Chris Williams – Week 47, 2023

Nov. 25, 2023

SQM acquires 20% stake in French DLE company, Adionics

The world’s largest lithium producer, SQM, announced in its 3rd quarter results the acquisition of a 20% stake in French direct lithium extraction company Adionics.

The deal was worth US$20.3M valuing the firm at US$101.5M. Adionics is developing its cold lithium extraction and hot regeneration process which derives from its research in desalination.  

Adamas take: SQM has a target to reduce water consumption by 50% by 2030, yet little information has been released to date as to how. Given this timeframe, DLE technology acquisition would be the most logical option. DLE technology acquisitions is a trend we expect more broadly throughout the decade.

Lake Resources adds 2.5 Mt LCE to MRE

Lake Resources announced this week an updated MRE for its Kachi DLE project in Catamarca province, Argentina.

The total resource now stands at 10.6 Mt of LCE (up from 8.1 Mt) with a 223 mg/L Li concentration. Confidence has improved with 69% now in measured and indicated categories (up from 36%).

The expansion results from step out wells which encountered lithium bearing brines over 600m deep.

Adamas take: The material update is the M&I upgrade as it feeds into the upcoming DFS reserve estimate. The scale of the resource, although impressive, offers strategic value in the long term only as it is beyond the comprehension of a financeable plant size. 

Standard Lithium announce DLE test work results

Standard Lithium released DLE test work results from its demonstration plant in Arkansas this week.

The plant uses Koch Industries LiPROTM LSS, an absorption type DLE system. Over a given 2-month period the process was able to recover 96.1% of lithium on average in the DLE step only.

Impurity rejection averaged over 99% and boron rejection averaged over 95%.

Adamas take: The parameters exceed the goals of the company set in its last DFS publication, which is encouraging. If these recoveries are to be relied upon, the effective whole-of-process Li recovery could be some of the highest in the industry. 


Chris Williams, Analyst at Adamas Intelligence

Chris is an Analyst at Adamas Intelligence focused on the global lithium industry. He researches and analyzes the lithium value chain to uncover actionable opportunities for clients.

Chris has 11-years experience in mining and oil & gas operations optimization, delivering value from data intensive insight generation. He completed his Bachelor and Masters of Engineering at the University of Queensland, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and is currently completing a Masters of Business Administration at the University of British Columbia.



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