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News Release - January 19, 2018 15:08 ET 

 

 

MGX Minerals Featured in Bloomberg and Financial Post, MGX Collaborates to Extract Nickel, Vanadium, and Cobalt from Petroleum Coke, and Continues Stellar Li Exploration Results

  • MGX is a multifaceted company focused on accelerating emerging energy & energy commodity technologies that disrupt the status quo.

  • MGX's technology was a recent finalist for the ‘Most Disruptive Technology in the World’ award by Katerva, and the Company is now monetizing this technology in 2018.

Click to view FP article

 "Alberta's tailings ponds cover about 97 square miles and hold enough waste to fill more than half a million Olympic-size swimming pools."

NEW YORK, NY, January 19,  2018 /Sector Newswire/ -- MGX Minerals Inc. (CSE: XMG) (OTCQB: MGXMF) this week announced it has engaged Highbury Energy Inc. (“Highbury”) to assist in preparing a detailed process to extract metals such as nickel, vanadium, and cobalt from petroleum coke. Also this week MGX Minerals announced continued stellar intercepts from one of its joint venture partners (see related news here). Additionally, MGX Minerals was featured in the Financial Post & Bloomberg for solution to "340 Billion Gallons of Sludge Spur Environmental Fears in Canada".

 

MGX Minerals is primarily focused on advancing breakthrough technologies on 2 fronts poised to propel its valuation in 2018;

 

Lithium Industry: New advanced brine processing technology proprietary to MGX Minerals Inc. solves the problem of magnesium in brine, able to deal with very complex/dirty brines, opening up a whole new world of large lithium resource projects.

 

Mass Energy Storage Zinc-Air Battery: MGX's innovative regenerative zinc-air flow battery technology is immune to the growth of zinc dendrites which have traditionally plagued zinc-air flow batteries, and the Company is preparing designs for the mass production of its scalable 20kWh capacity zinc-air mass storage battery.

 

Excerpt from MGX Minerals' January 16, 2018 news release:

 

MGX Minerals Partners with Highbury Energy to Extract Nickel, Vanadium, and Cobalt from Petroleum Coke

 

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MGX Minerals Inc. (“MGX” or the “Company”) (CSE:XMG) (FKT:1MG) (OTC:MGXMF) is pleased to report the Company has engaged Highbury Energy Inc. (“Highbury”) to assist in preparing a detailed process to extract metals such as nickel, vanadium, and cobalt from petroleum coke (“petcoke”).
 

Background

 
Petcoke is a carbon material by-product of the oil and gas industry that forms during the oil refining process. As refineries have become more efficient at processing extra heavy crude oils (bitumen) over the last two decades, output of petcoke globally has risen significantly. Because petcoke originates from heavier petroleum fractions, its denser impurities such as metals and sulphur compounds are concentrate in it.

 

The majority of Canadian petcoke output occurs in close proximity to oil sand producing regions, where bitumen is upgraded into synthetic crude oil. Specifically, the Province of Alberta is known to host vast stockpiles of petcoke. According to the Alberta Energy Regulator, petcoke inventories are estimated to have reached 106 million tonnes in 2016(1).

 

Focus of Study

 
While concentrations of individual metals are low in raw petcoke, Highbury is utilizing its advanced knowledge of the thermochemical gasification process and existing large-scale pilot plant experience to assist MGX in designing a process to generate hydrogen gas and concentrate metals in the form of ash byproduct. Highbury has completed a Phase I report on potential processes and markets for primary and secondary byproducts. A Phase II study has commenced including analyses of locations, laboratory bench top feedstock results, advanced process design and initial plant design parameters.

 

Research and Development

 
Development of the detailed process will be spearheaded by Dr. Paul Watkinson, a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia and a co-founder of Highbury. Dr. Watkinson is a published expert in the field of gasification and oversaw early work on related oil sand gasification in the early 1990’s. He is also a registered Professional Engineer, Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Dr. Watkinson is also an active participant in the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering as well as Engineering Conferences International. He has received numerous awards for his research and has published multiple articles in scientific journals on pilot-scale investigations of conversion of carbonaceous solids, such as coal, shale and biomass, into gaseous and liquid fuels.

 
Similar to advancements made by the Company over the last year in treating wastewater brine and recovering minerals, MGX and Highbury will look to develop a process that utilizes gasification methods to concentrate metals from petcoke, said MGX President and CEO Jared Lazerson. “We believe entry into an untapped market of this magnitude aligns perfectly with our business strategy of creating innovative processes and technology to shape the new energy economy.

 

(1) Source: Alberta Energy Industry, Alberta Mineable Oil Sands Plant Statistics

 

Qualified Persons
The technical portions of this press release were reviewed by Andris Kikauka (P. Geo.), Vice President of Exploration for MGX Minerals. Mr. Kikauka is a non-independent Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 Standards.

 

About Highbury Energy

 
Highbury Energy Inc. is an innovative energy company dedicated to the development and utilization of renewable energy resources through the procurement and conversion of biomass. Highbury has developed a proprietary dual-bed steam gasification technology and patented gas cleanup system that converts biomass into high-grade synthesis or fuel gas. This robust process produces a medium calorific value gas from most types of organic matter, such as wood or agricultural wastes, without need of tonnage oxygen. The cleaned synthesis gas can readily replace natural gas in industrial kilns and furnaces in the mineral, pulp & paper, glass, and cement industries. Alternately, the syngas can fuel an internal combustion engine to make electricity, with waste heat used for refrigeration, or district heating. Syngas can also be converted to high value low carbon liquid fuels such as diesel or jet fuel, or into chemicals such as methanol or ethanol.

 

About MGX Minerals

 
MGX Minerals is a diversified Canadian resource company with interests in advanced material and energy assets throughout North America. Learn more at www.mgxminerals.com....

...click here for more info from source

 

Excerpt from recent mining journal review on MGX Minerals:

 

MGX Minerals' flagship is its focus on commercializing new brine processing technology that gives the Company a significant advantage in the marketplace having solved the problem of magnesium (Mg) in lithium (Li) laden brine, able to deal with very complex/dirty brines. Up until now rich complex Li brine projects with high Mg:Li ratios have been passed over as technology did not exist to economically separate the two. MGX's proprietary/patented technology now positions scores of complex lithium brine projects (previously untouchable) across the globe ripe for production, with better economics than solar evaporation. MGX Minerals Inc. is also positioned technology-wise to commercially exploit the mineral rich brine that is a residual by product of geothermal power generation.

Video: MGX's Mass Energy Storage Zinc-Air Battery Solutions (2 min.15 sec.)

 

MGX Minerals is also quickly positioning itself as a leader in mass energy storage solutions with tech that is cost-effective, easily scalable, and eliminates all short-term energy downtime. MGX is advancing innovative modular energy storage batteries through proprietary (100% owned) patented zinc-air technology through its wholly owned subsidiary ZincNyx Energy Solutions Inc., a private company acquired from the mining giant Teck Resources in December 2017 (see related Dec. 13, 2017 news "MGX Minerals to Acquire Zinc Air Battery Developer ZincNyx Energy Solutions"). Think Tesla's Powerwall and Powerpack but without lithium, powerful, quick charging, and low cost; this innovative regenerative zinc-air flow battery technology is designed for energy storage in the 5 kW to 1 MW range for extended periods of time. The tech allows for low cost mass storage of energy, and can be deployed into a wide range of applications, including utility-scale storage and power grid load stabilization, long term backup power for industrial, commercial, and military facilities, remote location off grid and micro grid applications, and diesel generator replacement or hybridization. Since the ZincNyx system uses zinc dendrites as fuel and consumes them as part of its normal operation, it is immune to the growth of zinc dendrites which have traditionally plagued zinc-air flow batteries (see related Jan. 9, 2018 news "MGX Minerals Announces Major Advancement in Mass Storage Battery Technology; Solves Zinc Dendrite Formation Limitation") -- A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH WHICH PAVES A PATHWAY TO NEAR-TERM COMMERCIALIZATION; ZincNyx has already started the commercial design for the mass production of its scalable 20kWh capacity zinc-air mass storage battery. Unlike conventional batteries, which have a fixed energy/power ratio, ZincNyx’s technology uses a fuel tank system that offers flexible energy/power ratios and scalability.  The storage capacity is directly tied to the size of the fuel tank and quantity of charged zinc fuel making scalability a major advantage of the flow battery system.  In addition, further major advantage of the zinc-air flow battery is the ability to charge and discharge simultaneously and at different maximum charge or discharge rates as each of the charge and discharge circuits is separate and independent.  Other types of standard and flow batteries are limited to a maximum charge and discharge by the total number of cells as there is no separation of the charge, discharge and size of the fuel storage system (see overview of MGX Minerals' modular energy storage zinc-air battery further below).

 

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MGX Minerals' brine processing technology is quickly gaining recognition: It has only been since mid-summer-2017 that MGX Minerals Inc. has been able to accept any water for testing at its new pilot plant and demand is off-the-chain from both the petrolithium industry and interested (potentially very large) lithium pure-play stake holders.

 

MGX Commissions the World's First Rapid Lithium Extraction System: The Company's first 750 BPD (120 cubic meters) commercial rapid lithium extraction system was newly commissioned on December 6, 2017 (with revenue contracts), and the construction of the first large commercial 7,500 Barrels-Per-Day (BPD) system using MGX's technology was announced this November 6, 2017, being made possible by $8.2M in government grants (representing a strong vote of confidence in the technology from the highest levels, and a free ride for shareholders).

 

MGX is revolutionizing the lithium world as we know it. With the commissioning of the first commercial-scale system the emerging lithium producer has set the course for the generation of income in early Q1 2018 and to install numerous of such systems across North America. The December 6, 2017 announcement of the partial commissioning of its first commercial-scale lithium recovery system called NFLi5 at its new manufacturing facility in Calgary, Alberta is significant milestone. The executed contract on that system alone is based on a per cubic meter processing fee valued up to $2 million CAD annually of wastewater processing revenue in addition to any value from lithium and other minerals extracted. MGX plans to equip dozens of producing oil and gas sites in North America with its in-house commissioned systems.
 

The share price of MGX Minerals Inc. is poised for significant upward revaluation as the reality of the magnitude of wealth headed shareholders way is appreciated by the market. MGX Minerals Inc. is now active in advancing 4 distinct business lines stemming from what experts agree and results affirm (see Oct. 16, 2017 news "MGX Minerals Processes High Magnesium Content Lithium Brine of 76,000mg/L") is the worlds most advanced brine processing technology:

 

Figure 1. Oil & Gas wellheads..

1) Petrolithium processing; involves capturing oil, natural gas, and minerals from oil & gas industry brine, leaving cleaner water behind. MGX Minerals is deploying the only technology that can deal with ultra-high total dissolved solids plaguing the oil & gas industry. The Company currently has ~20 testing and analysis agreements in place with almost every major oil company in Western Canada and a good number in the US, now talking with the biggest oil and gas companies, from Chesapeake to Shell. MGX Minerals is in the midst of turning out win-win proposals that solve major problems for industry and see MGX as the beneficiary of both significant dollar revenue and Lithium streams (MGX aims to negotiate contracts in the petrolithium sector that result in MGX Minerals keeping control of the lithium product). The company has essentially created its own sub-sector in the industry by focusing on petrolithium, turning garbage into gold. Look for contracts of significance to materialize near-term that cumulatively will light a fire under the share price of MGX Minerals over the coming years.

Figure 2a. Lithium laden brine.

 

2) Major Lithium pure-play; MGX Minerals is targeting Li from economic/high-grade brine projects, both complex (e.g. high magnesium) or clean. On a head-to-head basis with solar evaporation lithium analysts in-the-know now agree MGX's technology has superior characteristics of lower capex, better Li recoveries (70+% vs. 40%), lower opex, has a substantially smaller footprint than miles of evaporation ponds, is faster (8 hours end-to-end vs. 18 months), and turns the presence of magnesium on its head -- treating Mg as a valuable commodity that can be extracted for sale, instead of causing a project to be passed over. Many high magnesium lithium projects around the globe (from the Americas to China) are now being revisited because of MGX Minerals technology.  It is a distinct reality now of MGX Minerals being at the center of projects with potential to generate 10s and even 100s of thousands of tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide (the main saleable form of Li used by EV/Li-ion battery manufacturers). Lithium analysts this Mining Journal have talked with have confirmed interest is high regarding MGX Minerals' technology from major Li-industry stake holders. The Company has opened a South America sales/field office in Chile.

 

Figure 2b. Geothermal facility.

 

3) Geothermal brine metal & mineral extraction; MGX Minerals Inc. is now positioned to commercially exploit the mineral rich brine that is a residual by product of geothermal power generation. MGX Minerals can capitalize on substantial existing infrastructure of the geothermal plants, well fields, ponds and related facilities. Geothermal projects offer potential to be 1) quick to market, 2) offer robust project economics, and 3) no exploration or drilling risk. The Company's engineering partner (which MGX has the right to acquire 100% of) has developed high temperature filtration for the purification of geothermal brines and associated extraction of metals and minerals including lithium (see related November 29, 2017 news). Geothermal brines are known to contain lithium, magnesium, potash, and other minerals and metals including gold.

Figure 3a. Left to right/before to after of MGX's wastewater processing technology; 1) Raw (feed), 2) intermediate chemical ppt, 3) final water prior to desalinization.

 

4) Wastewater handling; MGX is also a clean-tech Company with the ability to treat and reclaim wastewater for the oil & gas industry, unparallel to anything currently in the market. The industry is ripe for technology shift in cost-savings from water handling. MGX can eliminate environmental issues, reduce disposal costs, and reduce the need for acquiring new water. MGX is a major owner (with the rights to acquire 100%) of PurLucid Treatment Solutions which is essentially the engineering, manufacturing, and development arm behind the breakthrough technology MGX Minerals controls exclusively. PurLucid has a contract for reprocessing steam water for oil sands using MGX Minerals technology, the construction of a full commercial 7,500 Barrels-Per-Day (BPD) system is being made possible by $8.2M in government grant (see related November 6, 2017 news) -- this is the beginning roll-out of what we expect will be a robust water-handling business line. This first large-scale commercial plant will also be leveraged for MGX Minerals benefit as a site-visit demonstration facility to propel the lithium side of the business, as this plant will employ the same technology.

 

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Figure 3b. (left) -- MGX Minerals Inc./PurLucid's NFLi-5 system (750 barrels/day capacity).

 

"PurLucid continues to conduct bulk sample testing from various MGX lithium target sites throughout North America. A recent sample of brine wastewater originating from Utah was concentrated from 600 mg/L Li to 3,300 mg/L Li to produce a clean lithium chloride concentrate of 19,900 mg/L with undetectable levels of magnesium." -- Quote Source: Dec. 6, 2017 Company press release

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Near-term share price target: $5+/share for CSE:XMG -- Source: Market Equities Research Group; MGX Minerals Inc. currently has a market cap of ~C$157 million (~90.2 million shares outstanding (post Dec. 28, 2017 financing) trading at ~$1.75/share), this Journal projects that sometime in 2018 MGX Minerals Inc. will surpass $500M market cap, on its way to much much higher valuation, with little (if any) share dilution -- all translating to a significantly higher share price. The Company has a plethora of NDAs signed and is currently negotiating several commercial contracts. MGX has bulk sample tests from numerous primary sites and proposals are going out, no doubt the Company will land some of those. Over the coming months we expect the markets to witness revenue and lithium streaming contracts generated, and the question will become "How big does this get?" We expect to see a series of good size proposals being accepted, many covering millions of dollars each in lithium. Once MGX surpasses $10 million in revenues the market will start to price in serious projections and any perceived risk will melt away, accelerating valuation. As earnings play out and contracts take off a $1B market cap in 2019 is not unrealistic. The Company has the ability to vertically integrate and partner right now. Look at how fast the second largest Lithium producer in the world came to being what it is, Ganfeng (out of China), they were not even in the Lithium business in 2006. Through a stroke of the pen and negotiations through some good deals, access to capital, and deploying capital well, a multi-billion dollar market cap is possible. There is no doubt shareholders establishing a long position now stand to be richly rewarded from the strategic advantage MGX Minerals Inc. has in its proprietary technology, now at the initial phase of commercialization, and in a marketplace as the only viable solution we are aware of for complex high Mg:Li ratio lithium brines, with exceptional economics, combined with increasing global demand by EV/Li-ion battery manufacturers thirsting to secure supply.

 

Although the main value of MGX Minerals Inc. currently rests in its ownership of disruptive-like technology, the company is also amassing a respectable portfolio of brine holdings. MGX is the largest holder of Li brine holdings in North America, it has ~2 million acres under staking options under a variety of arrangements, and the Company is constantly entering new JV's and deals to acquire more brine where it sees opportunity. MGX has one of the largest exploration programs underway in North America to identify areas of brine, with the big advantage of being the exclusive 100%-owners of unique technology that renders the Mg:Li ratio moot. Of particular note recently is the MGX Minerals advancement of its 110,000 acre petrolithium project in the Paradox Basin of Utah (see related December 15, 2017 news release).

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Marc Burner, MGX Minerals’ Chairman, wants to replicate the success he had with Ultra Petroleum; under his stewardship he took it from ~$10 million market cap to ~$16 billion:

 

Mr. Burner sees that type of potential in this untapped subsector of petrolithium extraction and big-lithium pure-play. He was attracted to MGX Minerals because of his deep understanding of the opportunity, and the fact MGX Minerals exclusively controls the IP to accomplish this. Mr. Burner is a second generation oil-and-gas businessman. His father started a company called Texas Oil and Gas, and when he sold that to US Steel, it was the biggest independent oil and gas company in the world. Mr. Burner's claim to fame is being one of the pioneers of the unconventional oil and gas business. Mr. Bruner was previously the Chairman and CEO of Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd. and served as Ultra Petroleum’s founding Chairman where he was involved in developing the Pinedale Anticline in Wyoming, which is now recognized as one of the largest unconventional natural gas fields in the United States. While serving these companies, Mr. Bruner oversaw negotiations and contracts with global oil and gas companies including Halliburton, Exxon Mobil, Questar Gas and Hess Corporation. In addition, Mr. Bruner founded Pennaco Energy Inc. to explore and develop coal bed methane properties in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana. In March 2000, the company was sold to Marathon Oil for US $550 million.

 

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Traditionally a high Mg:Li ratio made for problematic complex brine, now (because of MGX's technology) a high Mg:Li ratio can even be seen as better than clean brine as MGX can extract all in situ minerals for sale.

 

Figure 4. Periodic table of elements examples of diagonal relationship. A diagonal relationship is said to exist between certain pairs of diagonally adjacent elements in the second and third periods of the periodic table. It is found that the chemistry of a first-row (second period) element often has similarities to the chemistry of the second-row (third period) element being one column to the right of it in the periodic table. Thus, the chemistry of Li has similarities to that of Mg.

The Back-Story

Why MGX Minerals' technology is so effective & how the Company secured 100%-ownership of the IP

 

In the production of oil and gas a lot of environmentally unfriendly brackish water is produced which cannot be dumped. Besides contamination from hydrocarbons, the brackish water is mineral-rich (primarily salts), however these hydrocarbons and minerals have commodity value if extricated individually and cost effectively, which was not possible prior to MGX Minerals’ petrolithium extraction technology being developed. The presence of magnesium in high levels also presented a problem when attempting to extract lithium as both lithium and magnesium behave similar (sharing a diagonal relationship on the periodic table of elements) making them extremely difficult to separate -- MGX's technology solves this...
 

Sequential separation using specialized floatation and reagent coated nano-filters, each filter attracts its own unique element: Petrolithium technology involves the ability to have oil, natural gas, and now mineral extraction occur all at one well. The process involves complex floatation and nano-filtration technologies, these are new technologies which have only been around for less than a decade since inception, and the natural commercialization of the technology is now hitting the market with MGX Minerals holding the exclusive IP rights. The key to this technology is sequential separation – a specialized coated filter for each element/mineral results in a clean lithium product. MGX’s technology essentially accelerates the evaporation process from brine processing using an ion filtration systems, concentrating the lithium in the remaining solution, allowing the Company to process it into either a hydroxide, chloride, or lithium carbonate as required. Up until MGX Minerals' process, technologies for Lithium extraction focused on isolating the lithium first and foremost (if not entirely) and that made it difficult to obtain a clean lithium product. Now, by having a filter that pulls the sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, boron, individually in a specific order clean lithium brine can be obtained from what was once complex. The filter is nothing like a traditional mesh filter, these are reagent coated filters each designed to pull a specific element, it is a nano-filtration technology where the filter itself works like a magnet and attracts specific molecules via design construction and the use of reagents -- each filter attracts its own unique element. As the filter fills up like a regular filter, it backs-up and hits a pressure switch and backwashes into a tank.

 

The core technology was developed to clean up the oil sands (oil sand tailing waste is some of the nastiest on the planet) so it is total overkill when it comes to tackling ordinary oil & gas brine, and that is what is making the technology so much easier to roll-out now. MGX Minerals Inc. is now the only group that can handle ultra-high total dissolved solids; there are no other filtrations that we are aware of that can deal with total dissolved solids beyond 40,000 PPM. MGX can deal with 400,000+ PPM without issue -- all because this was designed for the oil sand tailings. All oil & gas companies ask "how do we cut our water costs and physically reduce water disposal?" -- everyone is looking for long-term water solutions.
 

The process was originally invented by the team at PurLucid Treatment Solutions, a company which MGX Minerals currently owns ~46% of and has the the rights to purchase 100% (in exchange for a relatively nominal amount of stock). MGX already owns 100% of the key technology, having already paid for the lithium and mineral extraction technology and any improvements on that technology in the future, so that value does not exist in PurLucid. But there is serious value in the people/knowledge-base and other technology PurLucid has. Purlucid is a valuable consulting Company at the forefront of water treatment and lithium extraction. The Company has top people in the field; e.g. the chief scientist was the head of R&D for Tervita, the largest water treatment Company in Alberta. When oil had a down turn it a few years ago it was just at the point PurLucid was looking for a corporate partner (as is required by the government to demonstrate/facilitate weaning off of government grants, a private partner was required to apply for more grants), that is when MGX Minerals stepped in. Essentially PurLucid was at the phase that it could qualify for multi-millions and MGX Minerals recognized the value of the technology. PurLucid's invention makes up the front-end of MGX's rapid lithium extraction technology, its the most important part. The people at PurLucid have produced a number of systems in the past and are important for MGX Minerals now, as they are experienced on the engineering side, manufacturing side, development side, and provide guidance on how to commercialize what MGX Minerals now controls.

    

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Superior economics compared to solar evaporation

 

On a head-to-head bases MGX Minerals' Rapid Lithium Extraction System outshines solar evaporation.  At first blush, solar evaporation may seem cheap (letting the sun do the work passively), however its clearly not the case:

 

   - Lower system capex & lower opex;

   - More efficient: 70+% recoveries of Li vs. ~40% for solar evaporation;

   - Faster end-to-end time: ~8hr vs. ~18 months;

   - Much smaller footprint: miles of evaporation ponds are not necessary with MGX's technology;

   - The equipment is modular (containerized) & scalable;

   - Able to handle high Mg:Li ratio;

   - Plus there is the benefit of usable freshened water as an end product.

   

Solar evaporation just doesn't compare in terms of capital and efficiency. Lithium analysts have discussed with this Mining Journal comparative costs with the belief MGX can go head-to-head with solar evaporation at less than 1/2 the capex cost, and less than 1/4 the opex costs. Also because MGX's system is scalable it can be rolled out in phases, scaled-up over time in say US$4M increments (e.g. a 7,500BPD system would cost near ~US$2M for the front-end sequential separation technology, and ~US$2M for the back-end evaporation unit). Depending on grade, say 350 mg of Li/L grade for example, on a single 7,500 BPD system, we calculate >200t of Li-carbonate/year, >US$2,000,000 in revenue/year could be generated (based on a conservative commodity price of US$10,000/t for Li carbonate). In areas where there are high total dissolved solids an operator is also going to have a plethora of low value companion commodities (e.g. boron, sodium, calcium, etc.) which will generate additional kicker revenue. A potentially very profitable undertaking with no massive capital risk. It is such low level of capital required to deploy MGX Minerals system, in most instances it could be facilitated via lease and debt financing, or even potentially off-sheet via JV partners. The ability to advance lithium brine projects in a modular way makes for a very attractive proposition. Larger (big-lithium) MGX Rapid Lithium Extraction System projects may better lend themselves to building-out centralized evaporation infrastructure on the back-end to take advantage of economies of scale. The traditional number for opex for solar is ~$5/barrel, MGX is ~$1/barrel on opex comparison basis for clean brine with only 1 operator required to man the pumps and normal use of reagents. This is what happens when you have a paradigm shift. MGX is using passive filtration technology to process on the fly whereas traditional solar evaporation engineers are having to line miles and miles of ponds, getting lower recovery, it takes close to 2 years to get an end product with solar evaporation vs. residence time in the filters of ~8 hours from end-to-end for MGX.

 
Going beyond petrolithium and targeting big-lithium pure-plays: MGX Minerals Inc. has the petrolithium side of the business tied-down, the Company is going to do very well in petrolithium as it has the only mineral extraction technology possible to deal with what oil & gas companies are looking for. It is just now seeing the first of many new systems that will dominate that sub-sector.  But the 'Fortune-500 money Company-maker' potential for MGX Mineral shareholders is in the lithium pure-play side. MGX Minerals is looking at very large brine sources, inland lakes/inland seas, very large mine tailings fluid scenarios, South America brines, these types of operations can support mass production. When MGX first looked at making its technology work (with petrolithium) it looked at trying to make tight economics projects work, the Company looked at making 70 mg of Li/L work -- that was its break-even for chasing lithium. Then when MGX Minerals started to spread its wings and look around and talk to other lithium companies it recognized that the economics became massively rewarding as the grades increased. MGX is opening its office in Chile as it is well connected there -- it is not unusual to find brines in South America near 500 mg of Li/L. The reason MGX's system becomes so profitable is because as you scale up, things like operator costs (e.g. your labor costs) as a percentage drop and your main costs are reagent and consumable costs, the overwhelming majority of consumable costs are related to minerals/elements other than Lithium. There is not a significant difference in terms of reagents whether you are extracting 70 mg/L or 500 mg/L of lithium, you are still in parts per million, it’s so small. An increase in Lithium grade translate to gains in revenue and adds nothing to costs.

 

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Details of MGX Minerals' modular energy storage zinc-air batteries business line:

 

Technological Breakthrough in the Mass Energy Storage Industry

  •  MGX appears on its way to becoming a low cost/high performance leader in the zinc-air battery sector.

On January 9, 2018 MGX Minerals Inc. announced a major technological breakthrough by its wholly owned subsidiary ZincNyx Energy Solutions Inc. (a private company acquired from the mining giant Teck Resources in December 2017), in which the Company has solved a critical issue that has plagued metal-air batteries; weak reliability due to the growth of zinc dendrites within the battery. The problem occurs when fine-threaded filaments of zinc crystals grow in unintended areas and may cause membrane ruptures or short circuits. The ZincNyx system is immune to this problematic phenomenon as it uses these zinc dendrites as fuel and consumes them as part of its normal operation. This technological breakthrough brings far reaching consequences because the avoidance of dendrite damage is the single most significant hurdle in the development and commercialization of zinc-air flow battery systems.
 

With this technical challenge now mastered, ZincNyx has already started the commercial design for the mass production of its scalable 20kWh capacity zinc-air mass storage battery.

 

Technology highlights (source: www.zincnyx.com):

 

• The zinc-air battery is an innovative mass energy storage system which can be readily scaled from kilowatt to megawatt range.
 

• Most interestingly, the ZincNyx system is simple to manufacture in multiple locations using conventional methods – it does not require a Gigafactory!

 

• The main advantage is the low cost in comparison to other energy storage systems which traditionally include high-priced commodities such as lithium, cobalt and vanadium. The ZincNyx batterry solely includes zinc particles to efficiently store energy. The materials used in the manufacture of a full ZincNyx energy storage system are inexpensive and plentiful: zinc, magnesium, nickel, carbon, plastics.

 

• The technology emits no greenhouse gases or pollutants and does not contain any heavy metals.

 

• It’s a closed system and because there is no buildup of dendrites it never needs to be refueled and it does not corrode. The zinc particles are charged by solar or wind, or whatever the charged zinc goes into the fuel tank, where the energy is stored and then on demand is pumped into the fuel cells and then back to the regeneration area to be recharged.

 

• Unlike conventional batteries, which have a fixed energy/power ratio, ZincNyx’s technology uses a fuel tank system that offers flexible energy/power ratios and scalability. The storage capacity is directly tied to the size of the fuel tank and quantity of charged zinc fuel, making scalability a major advantage of this flow battery system.
 

• The ZincNyx system is a true flow battery, thereby completely decoupling the energy and power capabilities of the system. The energy capacity can be increased simply by providing more fuel. This fuel (particles of zinc plus oxygen drawn from the air) is very inexpensive – estimated to be less than $25/kWh. Since the air does not need to be stored within the system, the size of the fuel tank is considerably reduced compared to other flow battery chemistries.

 

• The ZincNyx system can also be described as a regenerative fuel cell – the fuel can be regenerated electrically and never needs to be replaced. The ZincNyx system provides the benefits of a hydrogen fuel cell without the need to transport and store hydrogen.

 

• The system is composed of 3 major subsystems: The zinc regeneration subsystem, the fuel storage subsystem and the power generation subsystem. Each subsystem can be sized according to the application requirements: Regeneration capacity (kW), energy storage capacity (kWh) and power generation capacity (kW). This is particularly important in photovoltaic applications where the duration of usable sunlight for regeneration may be limited to 6 hours or less. The separation of functions enables each subsystem to be optimised for its application and to utilise the most cost-effective and durable materials.

 

• The ZincNyx system does not require air conditioning since it operates above normal ambient temperatures (50-70°C).

 

• Another major advantage of the zinc-air flow battery is the ability to charge and discharge simultaneously and at different maximum charge or discharge rates as each of the charge and discharge circuits is separate and independent. Other types of standard and flow batteries are limited to a maximum charge and discharge by the total number of cells as there is no separation of the charge, discharge and size of the fuel storage system.

 

Compelling Competitive Advantages:
• Lowest cost energy storage for durations of 4 hours and greater
• Scalable, robust, reliable
• Insensitive to environmental and operational conditions
• Safe: No toxic, explosive or combustible materials or poisonous gasses
• Flexibility to optimize for power and energy needs

 

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The following has been identified for further DD on MGX Minerals Inc.:

  

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SOURCE: Sector Newswire editorial

editorial@SectorNewswire.com

 

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