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Imperial Oil IMO, the Canadian integrated oil company, and E3 Lithium, a lithium resource and technology firm, recently announced a partnership between the two entities to advance a lithium-extraction pilot project in the Canadian province of Alberta.
The project will involve exploring the redevelopment of a historic oil field into a prospective new leading source of lithium for the North American country’s emerging critical mineral industry.
The pilot plant will support E3 Lithium’s Clearwater project, extracting lithium from the Leduc oil field – IMO’s historic discovery that first launched major oil and gas development in Western Canada. E3 Lithium’s exclusive technology is designed to draw the critical mineral from the lithium-rich brine, with the possibility for the commercial advancement of battery-grade goods.
The blueprint of the pilot project consists of drilling Alberta's first lithium evaluation wells, scheduled to be finished by the end of the third quarter this year, and focusing on scaling up E3 Lithium's proprietary technology. This technology brings brine liquid to the surface, where lithium is removed, concentrated and then returned underground as part of a closed-loop system.
Per the agreement, E3 Lithium will continue to be the operator of the Clearwater project and retain its IP and also get technical and development support from Imperial in areas like water and reservoir management. Moreover, the agreement includes access for E3 to freehold lands in the area operated by Imperial.
As part of the deal, the oil giant has agreed to make an investment of C$6.35 million in E3 Lithium at a pre-paid price of C$1.86 per warrant and the issuance of roughly 3.41 million warrants. Every single warrant provides the holder with an option of exercising the warrant for one common share of E3 Lithium.
Jason Iwanika, the director of commercial business development at Imperial, mentioned how this collaboration brings together IMO’s age-old commitment to research and technology to support the test and scale of E3’s lithium-recovery technology. “We continue to advance the innovation and technologies needed to support the energy transition, working in collaboration with governments and industry to progress new opportunities from existing assets and sector expertise,” he ended.
“E3 Lithium and Imperial share an interest in the diversification of the Alberta economy, local job creation and sustainability,” stated Chris Doornbos, CEO of E3 Lithium.
Founded in 1880, Calgary-based Imperial Oil Limited is one of the largest integrated oil companies of Canada, mainly engaged in oil and gas production, petroleum products refining and marketing and chemical business.
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