" Interviews with more than two dozen potential customers that have tested DLE technologies, industry analysts, consultants and investors show that tech startups EnergySource Minerals and International Battery Metals (IBAT.CD) (IBAT), as well as oilfield service provider SLB (SLB.N) and mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) are expected to be among the first to launch commercial DLE projects within the next 12 to 18 months. French miner Eramet (ERMT.PA) and Chinese resin producer Sunresin (300487.SZ) are also seen as likely early winners."
Denny at the risk of reading…I clicked on the link…
LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana, June 16 (Reuters) - The global battle to reshape the lithium industry is sucking in oil producers, tech startups and entrenched mining giants, each jockeying to be the first to reinvent how a metal key to the green energy transition is produced.
A fleet of direct lithium extraction (DLE) technologies are on the verge of tapping salty brine deposits across Europe, Asia, North America and elsewhere that the U.S. Geological Survey estimates are filled with roughly 70% of the world’s reserves of the metal.
DLE technology has been under development for a while. People like it because it avoids waste streams. After lithium is removed brine is pumped back to its source. So far none are commercial but getting there.
The traditional technology in Chile is allowing multiple ponds to evaporate and crystalize. While waiting for lithium to crystalize you get an array of other salts to get rid of. Messy. With lots of waste streams. And many large ponds.