MGX Minerals and Eureka Resources say they have entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement that could see the world’s first commercial rapid petrolithium recovery system installed in Pennsylvania, in the US.
The newly formed JV will initially focus on fast tracking deployment of the commercial system at Eureka’s Standing Stone advanced wastewater treatment facility near Towanda. The JV is working to commission the system in the September quarter.
Eureka’s Standing Stone facility (pictured), which originally opened in 2013, provides regional energy producers with advanced wastewater treatment services for raw oil and gas brines. Post-concentration, lithium values in the range of 1,000 parts per million have been reported by Eureka and verified by MGX from produced water from within the Marcellus Shale, the companies said.
MGX says it has developed a rapid lithium extraction technology that eliminates or greatly reduces the physical footprint and investment needed for large, multi-phase, lake-sized, lined evaporation ponds. The technology enhances the quality of lithium extraction and recovery across a complex range of brines as compared with traditional solar evaporation and is applicable to oil and gas produced water, natural brine, lithium-rich mine brine and industrial plant wastewater, it said.
“MGX may use its petrolithium technology for lithium and other valued products production without first establishing mineral reserves supported by an independent technical report or completing a feasibility study,” the company said. “A production decision without the benefit of a technical report independently establishing mineral resources or reserves and any feasibility study demonstrating economic and technical viability creates increased uncertainty and heightens economic and technical risks of failure. Historically, such projects have a much higher risk of economic or technical failure.”
In addition to the initial system installation at Standing Stone, the JV has also outlined a growth strategy that focuses on growing lithium output and deploying additional rapid recovery systems throughout the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, the companies said.
“This includes scaling up lithium output at Standing Stone, deploying additional systems to other Eureka facilities, and identifying new installation sites at third-party treatment facilities.”
Eureka shall retain exclusive rights to develop all JV relationships with third-party facilities within the Marcellus and Utica shall formations for an initial period of five years, as part of the agreement, while both parties will have mutual discretion to further extend the JV for up to four additional years thereafter.
Terms of the JV provide that MGX will initially receive a disproportionate share of gross revenue proceeds until its petrolithium unit capital costs are recovered.
Eureka will obtain and manage all necessary environmental permits related to each system installation as well as day-to-day operational duties. MGX will fabricate and install each system, market the petrolithium, and provide ongoing system maintenance.