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A technology at a glance


The so-called DLE technology shortens the extraction of lithium from lithium-containing brines from many months and years to hours and a few days. Lithium-containing brines are pumped to the earth's surface and processed. Mechanical, physical and chemical processes are used to extract the lithium from the brine. The DLE process requires electrical energy (preferably produced by solar and wind power plants), fresh water (preferably from seawater desalination) and the chemicals sodium chloride (also known as table salt) and sodium carbonate (also known as washing soda). The sodium chloride is converted into the required caustic soda and hydrochloric acid using water and electrical energy (known as chlor-alkali electrolysis), which saves large amounts of transport to the lithium deposit. The sodium carbonate is needed to separate the lithium from the sodium in a final step and obtain pure lithium carbonate. The great advantage of the DLE process is that only harmless chemical elements and reactions are used and only salt water is produced as waste at the end of the process. The desired lithium is extracted from nature, and the water bound in the process is returned to the deposit in an environmentally friendly way that conserves groundwater. If electrical energy from wind and sun is utilised, the entire process can be made almost CO2 neutral.

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Direct Lithium Extraction is reducing production time from month and years to hours and days. Lithium recovery rates are climbing significantly from 60-80% to 70-90%, while land area requirement is rapidly reduced. At the same time, the amount of water required in the process decreases rapidly, as does the use of energy and chemicals. The operational costs of lithium extraction remain the same or can even be reduced. This makes DLE the first choice in the 21st century, not only from an environmental perspective.


Minimized ecological footprint, powered by 100% renewable energy.

Any energy required in the production process can be generated 100% from renewable sources such as sun and wind. The Maricunga project will be supplied via the public high-voltage grid as will be self-supplied with solar and wind power from the surrounding area.

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