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MGX Minerals Inc. (MGXMF)
MGX Minerals Inc. (MGXMF), a diversified mining company based in Vancouver, holds asset portfolios in lithium, magnesium, and silicon in western Canada, with a stated focus on the development of industrial mineral portfolios in specific commodities and jurisdictions offering near-term production potential, minimal barriers to entry, and low initial capital expenditures. Targeting properties where large-scale development opportunities exist, they prefer to acquire regional control in mineral properties to enhance portfolio value, and engage industry experts to mitigate execution risk and improve time to market.
Positive developments have made the company's lithium operations a special point of interest. An important factor is the company's engineering partner Purlucid Treatment Solutions, which has developed technologies representing a major step in the process of extracting lithium from petroleum brine water (petrolithium). MGX already holds the largest lithium portfolio in Canada, with its Sturgeon Lake property in Alberta and other lithium assets, and the company is the sole proprietary technology holder for processing petrolithium. Purlucid has now successfully demonstrated a way to upgrade brine samples from 67mg/L of lithium to 1600mg/L of lithium, while at the same time removing all magnesium, boron, and potassium. This significant pre-processing achievement, generating solutions 1200 percent higher than anticipated, can be expected to have an impact on the cost of production for the entire petrolithium process, since, according to Purlucid CEO Dr. Preston McEachern, the "biggest challenge in lithium recovery is creating a clean brine."
MGX and Purlucid together are already in the bulk sample and pilot plant design optimization phase of development in preparation for deployment, progressing toward unlocking their calculated 2 million metric ton lithium carbonate resource. The initial petrolithium pilot plant is projected to process 12,000 liters of brine per day, and management now sees a future plant capable of handling over a million liters of brine per day. It can be reasonable that future plants will be located near a major operation's water collection and reinjection sites, complete with available infrastructure already in place. Using a current conservative price of $12,000 per metric ton, and the potential to produce upwards of 14,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate per year, the potential from just one major plant would be revenues of nearly $170 million annually.
Additionally, MGX Minerals holds the sole legal patent on the petrolithium process across North America, and is now planning operations in Utah, near the emerging Gigafactory underway by Tesla, with its anticipated demand for lithium. The company believes there is a virtually endless source of lithium-bearing brines in North America.
Supporting this is the company's operations with silicon and magnesium. MGX Minerals controls three high-grade silicon projects in British Columbia. There are currently no producers of silicon in western North America, and the company is evaluating the economic viability of producing silicon metal from high-purity quartzite. MGX is also now developing North America's next magnesium oxide mine in central British Columbia, a location with good mineralization and excellent infrastructure.