Waste water from oil wells is often rich in minerals. According to the US Geological Survey, waste water extraction is already the biggest source of iodine in the US.
Eureka already converts waste water from wells into saleable products, including fresh water, sodium chloride, and calcium carbonate.
A new joint venture announced on Tuesday March 5 will allow Eureka to use MGX’s lithium extraction technology at its plants.
US President Donald Trump has called for the country to increase domestic production of critical minerals
, including lithium.
Lithium is an essential ingredient of batteries used in electric vehicles, with demand from this sector supporting lithium prices in recent years. However prices have been weaker so far in 2019 due to a large amount of new supply coming online.
Fastmarkets assessed the battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (min 56.5% LiOH.H2O) ex-works China price
at 95,000-103,000 yuan ($14,211-15,407) per tonne on February 28, down from 96,000-105,000 yuan per tonne in the previous week.
Lithium prices for this grade have fallen by nearly 5% since the start of February.