Vancouver-based MGX Minerals (CSE: XMG) is known for its unconventional mining methods aimed at recovering lithium, nickel, vanadium, and cobalt mostly from waste material from different extractive industries.
Without changing the way it operates, the Canadian miner now wants to set foot in the world’s second lithium producing country: Chile. Thus, management announced the opening of a field office in Santiago and the consolidation of its relationship with local consultancy Kura Minerals, which would guide the company in the process of project acquisitions.
In an interview with MINING.com, MGX CEO, Jared Lazerson, said that the firm is eyeing some lithium brine assets where its experts would be able to quickly extract the alkali metal without turning to solar evaporation and leaving clean water as a byproduct. “We would expect to commission a system to Chile within the next 6-12 months,” Lazerson said.
The exec also explained why, despite the distance from MGX’s headquarters, his company started looking south. “Chile is one of the most mineral-rich countries in the world, including lithium brine assets. As such, the Chilean mining industry is one of the most robust in the world, with the market infrastructure in place to facilitate foreign investment. We believe our unconventional mining technology, which can extract lithium and other minerals in a matter of days rather than the months required in conventional evaporation techniques, will be of great interest to Chilean mining companies, particularly lithium developers,” he added.
Lithium carbonate is a key element in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and other power-storage devices. Demand from carmakers has been pushing up prices since 2016, moving them from $6,100 per tonne to average $23,350 so far this year.