The Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund seeks to invest in start-ups capable of reducing emissions, with investors in the fund including founder of Amazon Inc, Jezz Bezos, co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Jack Ma and Bloomberg LP founder Michael Bloomberg.
Lake Resources Ltd (ASX: LKE) provider of a direct mining ion exchange process, Lilac Solutions, has raised US $ 20 million in Series A funding through the Breakthrough Energy fund led by Bill Gates.
Shares of Lake, which closed at 3.6 cents yesterday, climbed 69% to a high of 6.1 cents before settling at around 5 cents.
The billion dollar Breakthrough Energy fund was created by many global business leaders to support companies with the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Lilac is commercializing a new ion exchange technology for extracting lithium from brine resources that is considerably faster, cheaper and more scalable than existing technology.
The process eliminates the need for large evaporation ponds and is able to return lithium-depleted brine underground.
Lilac’s funding will allow it to expand its engineering team, increase production of its unique ion exchange beads, the heart of the company’s lithium extraction system, and deploy Lilac technology.
“Big vote of confidence”
Lake Managing Director Steve Promnitz said: “This is a big vote of confidence in Lake’s strategy from known investors who are successful in using direct mining methods to produce lithium. of high purity.
“This is a third-party quality review in Lake which selects Lilac as a technology supplier offering increased efficiency in recoveries and a shorter time to market with sustainable lithium products and a smaller environmental footprint without expansive evaporation ponds.
“These investors have made money by investing in disruptive technologies, seeing opportunities and promoting increased efficiency with better environmental outcomes.”
Lilac Solutions CEO David Snydacker said, “Other companies have tried to build these ion exchange beads in the past, but they weren’t selective enough to extract the lithium from the mineral mix or they fell apart. collapsed after only a few cycles.
Sustainable lithium production
Lake aims to produce a high-quality, low-impurity lithium product capable of attracting premium prices through its Kachi lithium brine project.
The PFS, which is nearing completion, is expected to show production costs at the lower end of the overall cost curve.
The direct extraction process, associated with the Kachi project, offers a sustainable solution to downstream battery manufacturers by extracting lithium from brines by ion exchange without traditional evaporation ponds.
The brine is returned to the aquifer after the lithium has been extracted without changing the chemistry of the brine.
This responds to the growing interest of electric vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) and battery manufacturers to demonstrate that they have access to a scalable and sustainable supply chain for raw materials.
Lake plans to produce the first large samples at the end of next month.