A Major Change In Lithium Markets Could Happen Soon
The critical countdown to a major lithium supply shortage is on, and the only thing that’s going to feed this demand is technology that can greatly increase production efficiency, much like fracking did for U.S. oil and gas.Electric cars, gigafactories, massive energy storage solutions and tons of consumer electrics mean that the global battery market will hit $120 billion in less than two years, and one little-known company is debuting with a technology that could produce lithium much, much faster.Greatly increased speed of production could be a real game-changer for the lithium market.Lithium is currently produced from brine sources because it’s not economic to get it from hard-rock mines. In the ‘Lithium Triangle’ in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, lithium is produced from salty brine by a cumbersome solar evaporation process. Salt-rich waters are pumped into a series of evaporation ponds to extract all other elements before they get to harvest the lithium. The process takes up to 24 months.Little-known International Battery Metals (CSE:IBAT; OTC: RHHNF) has signed an LOI with North American Lithium (NAL) to acquire a proprietary technology that, if it proves out on a commercial scale, could push lithium into the production stage rapidly. In fact, the company’s incoming CEO, John Burba, says IBAT’s new technology can extract lithium in 24 hours—not 24 months.How? The device is highly selective for lithium. It takes the lithium out directly and leaves all other salts in the solution. And Burba would know: He invented a similar technology for giant FMC Corp. (NYSE:FMC), one of the world’s top four lithium producers. Now he’s advanced it to the next stage–and this is where it could do for lithium what fracking did for oil and gas.Assuming the LOI closes as announced. IBAT is going for fast production and…
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