• Power Minerals partner Summit Nanotech appoints Hatch to complete prefeasibility study into use of direct lithium extraction (DLE) tech at Incahuasi project
  • DLE promises produce cheaper, higher quality, and more environmentally friendly lithium from brines than incumbent processes
  • Summit’s denaLi DLE tech already proven to work with brines sourced from Incahuasi
  • PFS will support construction of demonstration facility to produce 1,000tpa LCE


Special Report: Power Minerals’ strategic partner Summit Nanotech has selected global engineering consultancy firm Hatch to complete pre-feasibility study into the use of the denaLi DLE technology for the Incahuasi salar.

Instead of concentrating lithium by evaporating brine in large pools, DLE technologies aim to extract the crucial battery metal and then pump the water back into the aquifer.

It promises to produce quicker, cheaper, higher quality, and more environmentally friendly lithium.

The superfecta.

DLE technology provider Summit Nanotech recently committed to a strategic investment to drive development of Incahuasi, one of five salares (salt lakes) that sit within Power Minerals’ (ASX:PNN) 147.07km2 Salta lithium project in Argentina, in return for a 30% interest in the joint venture.

In late October it made a first tranche payment of its $3.125m strategic investment.

It will also have to subscribe for a further US$1m worth of PNN shares at a 25% premium to the 20-day volume weighted average price within 18 months of executing the binding terms sheet, complete pilot testing of Incahuasi brines, and deliver a performance report on the production of lithium chemical products to positively validate the use of its technology.

Additionally, Summit will contribute to a JORC (and/or NI 43-101) standard pre-feasibility study and has the option to earn a further 15% in the JV over Incahuasi by participating in a definitive feasibility study within one year of completing its initial earn-in.


Progressing DLE at Incahuasi

Following pilot testing of Incahuasi brine at Summit’s Santiago facility — currently underway — Hatch will commence a plant feasibility study to support Summit and Power Minerals’ next step at the asset, an onsite demonstration facility targeting production of 1,000tpa of lithium carbonate equivalent in lithium chloride.

Lithium chloride is an intermediate concentrate to battery-grade lithium carbonate.

Summit says its denaLi tech can produce lithium from brines with over 95% lithium recovery with best-in-class low freshwater use, minimal consumables, and greenhouse gases as well as low power consumption with 98% impurity reduction. It has already been proven to work with brines from Incahuasi.

“We are excited that Summit is moving ahead with the development of its technology by appointing Hatch to complete this design and engineering work as this will progress development of Incahuasi in tandem,” PNN managing director Mena Habib said.

“Summit’s testwork has already demonstrated the efficacy of its denaLi technology on brine from our Incahuasi salar to produce a battery-grade lithium concentrate.

“Bringing in an experienced, world-renowned consultancy such as Hatch to move us toward a demonstration facility is another positive step towards commercial production.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Power Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.