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“This is a great vote of confidence in Lake’s strategy from known successful investors to use direct extraction methods to produce high purity lithium. This is quality, third party validation in Lake selecting Lilac as our technology provider providing increased efficiency in recoveries and a shorter time to market with sustainable lithium products and a smaller environmental footprint without expansive evaporation ponds.
Lithium explorer and developer Lake Resources NL announced today that Lake’s technology provider of a direct extraction ion exchange process, Lilac Solutions, has raised US$20 million in Series A funding.
Led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion fund established by many of the world’s top business leaders to support companies with the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the round includes participation from MIT’s The Engine fund, Lowercarbon Capital, and The Grantham Foundation.
• Lake Resources’ planned sustainable lithium production using direct extraction technology provider – Lilac Solutions – has gained the investment support of the Bill Gates-led fund, Breakthrough Energy, leading an investment round of US$20 million.
• Breakthrough Energy Ventures looks to invest in startups that are capable of cutting emissions. The fund’s investors include Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com Inc., and Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP. MIT’s The Engine fund is another key investor in Lilac.
• Lilac Solutions has partnered with Lake Resources and the first pilot plant using Lilac’s technology will start in Argentina later this year.
Lilac is commercialising a new ion exchange technology for lithium extraction from brine resources that is significantly faster, cheaper, and more scalable than existing technology. The process does away with the need for large evaporation ponds and is able to return the lithium-depleted brine back underground.
Lilac’s funding will enable the expansion of its engineering team, scale up production of its unique ion exchange beads, the core of the company’s lithium extraction system, and deploy the Lilac technology.
“This is a great vote of confidence in Lake’s strategy from known successful investors to use direct extraction methods to produce high purity lithium. This is quality, third party validation in Lake selecting Lilac as our technology provider providing increased efficiency in recoveries and a shorter time to market with sustainable lithium products and a smaller environmental footprint without expansive evaporation ponds,” said Lake’s Managing Director Steve Promnitz.
“These investors made money by investing in disruptive technologies, seeing opportunities and promoting higher efficiencies with greater environmental outcomes.”
Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures said: “While the electrification of vehicles is one of the most promising opportunities to reduce global emissions, today’s limited supplies of battery raw materials like lithium and cobalt challenge this transition.
“Lilac Solutions’ novel technology can change the supply and demand equation by helping lithium producers extract much larger quantities at a significantly lower cost, and from new sources. This is the type of industrial innovation required to support a transition to EVs at scale.”
David Snydacker, Chief Executive Officer of Lilac Solutions, said: “Other companies have tried to build these ion-exchange beads in the past, but they were either not selective enough at picking lithium out of the mixture of minerals or fell apart after just a few cycles.”