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MGX Minerals at the vanguard of lithium exploration and extraction

There is of course a big buzz around lithium these days...
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Lithium is used in electric car batteries

MGX Minerals Inc (CNSX:XMG) is at the vanguard of new ways of sourcing lithium from oil wastewater.

There is of course a big buzz around lithium these days, not least for its use in lithium - ion batteries essential in the  burgeoning electric car industry.

MGX reckons global demand will double between 2015 and 2025, mainly due to the rapidly expanding electric vehicle, consumer electronic and green energy sectors.

Lithium- ion charged vehicle sales could total 40 million cars a year by 2040, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the firm quotes on its website.

MGX is taking and developing a novel approach to extracting lithium using a new method of petrolithium.

This is a way of retrieving it from the brine that accompanies petroleum (crude oil) as it’s being pumped up to the surface.

The process can be completed much faster (from 18 months to one day) than solar evaporation and is potentially less expensive than conventional hard-rock mining.

WATCH - MGX Minerals steaming ahead with Lithium projects 'in advanced development phase'

The firm's news focus currently has been in Utah,  where the firm is advancing the Paradox Basin project, where it has now consolidates its land position and  staked a further 70,000 acres.

It was in February this year it secured the earn-in agreement with Scientific Metals Corp (CVE:STM) allowing it to acquire an initial 50% interest in the Paradox Basin lithium brine property.

It consists of 111 mineral claims encompassing 2,220 acres around four kilometers’ northwest of Intrepid Potash’s Cane Creek operation. So far around eight wells have been drilled with additional historic wells in the immediate area.

Lithium occurs in the basin in oversaturated mineral brine (40% minerals, 60% water) and was discovered during oil exploration when drill wells intercepted the main brine zone of the Paradox formation.

READ - MGX Minerals enters earn-in deal to acquire Paradox Basin lithium brine property interests

The firm now controls more than 94,000 acres of oil and gas leases and mineral claims in Utah, while across North America as a whole (its other licences are in Alberta), its lithium brine claims now total more than 1.7mln acres.

A milestone came in January this year, when it announced the successful extraction of lithium from oil sands wastewater.

The PurLucid partnership deal was struck last November. PurLucid Treatment Solutions Inc developed the water purification system and MGX struck a definitive agreement to acquire up to 100% of PurLucid - an initial 50% by investing C$5 million over the next three years.

MGX has now acquired 26.6% of water treatment group PurLucid for $1mln and exercised its option of acquire a further 7.5% via the issue of 1.5mln MGX shares to PurLucid shareholders.

MGX is currently manufacturing small commercial plants of 750 barrels of water per day for extracting lithium and other valuable minerals from brine.

And earlier this month it told investors it had shipped its first sample of lithium chloride 30% concentrate to its compound upgrader.

At the upgrader, the  samples will be analyzed for upgrading to 99% lithium carbonate and suitability for direct-to-lithium-hydroxide upgrading.

To bolster its petrolithium ambitions, it has also  recently hired industry veteran Patrick Avery as director of its subsidiary focused on the new industry approach.

Notably, the firm is advancing its petrolithium projects into production without first establishing mineral resources or completing a feasibility study.

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