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Unlocking Lithium from Geothermal Brines Adapted from Information by EnergySource Minerals California’s Salton Sea has been a geothermal resource for companies for over 50 years. The geothermal brine at the site is rich in several critical minerals used for energy storage and electric vehicles, but no one has figured out how to extract those minerals for commercial use - until now. California-based EnergySource Minerals believes it has developed a method for extracting battery-spec lithium from the geothermal brine. “EnergySource Minerals has successfully completed a feasibility study for the extraction and production of lithium from geothermal brine, and is now proceeding toward a commercial lithium extraction initiative called Project ATLiS,” said EnergySource Minerals CEO and President Eric Spomer. Project ATLiS will use it’s proprietary Integrated Lithium Adsorption Desorption (ILiAD) technology to extract lithium from the brine currently flowing through the Featherstone geothermal power plant. Pilot trials have confirmed impurity removal rates of more than 99.9% with over 90% lithium recovery. ILiAD technology stemmed from combining existing, mature, and commercially-proven techniques used in lithium and adja- cent industries in a different way. “It’s off-the-shelf technology uniquely applied to our brine,” said Spomer. “We conducted rigorous testing to ensure the combined sequence was robust. As a consequence of this effort, we’ve found that the design can be applied to existing or proposed Salton Sea geothermal plants and other brine resources.” The lithium industry is expected to flourish in the near future primarily due to the increased use and production of electric vehicles. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation predicts more than half of cars will be electric by 2040. The Salton Sea could be a significant source for the global lithium market. “We now have a path forward,” said Spomer. “We have accomplished some- thing that is necessary in the step toward commercial production. It’s an unprece- dented benefit not only to Imperial Valley, California, but to the wider region and the world.” The project is expected to be fully operational by early 2023. Geothermal will be the editorial focus for the April issue. Submit your article ideas to: bonnie@ GEO 41 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® FEBRUARY 2020