Oil and gas may be the big resource in the region, but it isn’t the only one companies are after.
The Calgary-based E3 Metals Corporation has finalized an agreement to take over the interest of what is called the Bashaw Permit Area from Alberta’s Fathom Minerals. The deal consists of the mineral rights and all of the technical data and reports in exchange for $35,000 and 350,000 common shares.
A Dec. 6 press release noted that E3 has already conducted sampling of wells in the region and found enough of what it was looking for to complete the agreement.
E3 Metals president and CEO Chris Doornbos explained the deal gives the company the exclusive mineral rights for lithium in three areas in the region surrounding Bashaw, Lacombe and Red Deer.
“Our goal now, over the next year, is to work on developing the needed extraction technology to allow us to get the lithium out and into a viable product form,” he said.
Doornbos added that they are working on their own, and in partnership with other companies, plus the University of Alberta, on developing testing and a process for producing a lithium concentrate.
“It’s similar to mining production, but a bit different as lithium extraction is an emerging technology. Once we come up with the concentrate process, we will refine the product in to lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide — both products that are used in batteries. There are refinement options out there, but we are also looking into what might be the more efficient process for our needs.”
It’s that commercial production and application that has Doornbos excited about the deal, knowing E3 has access to close to 600,000 hectares of mineral rights with a reportedly 2.8 million tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent.
E3 Metals is on the Toronto Stock Market venture exchange (TSX-V: ETMC) and began operation last May. It was previously known as Savanah Gold Corp., but changed course to pursue other mineral resources.
Since the change, E3 has reached agreements with several oil and gas companies to sample wells within its Exshaw property region of more than 580,000 hectares, where it has reportedly concluded there is at least 2.8 million tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent.
The company believes that is enough Petro-Lithium brine to develop an annual 50,000 tonne production project that could operate for more than 35 years.