Executive Summary: Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE)

Lithium production from brine unlocks the majority of world supply during a critical demand window

The global demand for lithium is predicted to rise, over 40X by 2040 and is estimated to experience the fastest growth of all metals driven by EV demand

• Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) is cost competitive with traditional methods when adjusted for greater yields (<90%) while also significantly reducing resource dependence on water, land, and energy, resulting in reduced operational expenses

• DLE is expected to disrupt traditional lithium refining and mining due to improved process efficiencies including:
     - Speeding up refining
     - Increasing recovery rates from around 40% to over 80%
     - Enabling more to be harvested from less
     - Reducing inputs of energy, water, land use and chemicals

• There are multiple new approaches to DLE each with differing tradeoffs in the above efficiencies

• Following successful pilots with mining incumbents, new DLE technologies are entering commercialization pilot phases, commercial scale production is expected in 2025, e.g., Summit Nanotech, E3 Lithium

• Strategic investments are enabling off takers to secure lithium supply e.g. GM-led EnergyX’s 50M Series B, which included an off take agreement

• Innovators are consolidating to combine technologies, while incumbents are acquiring innovators to take greater control of lithium supply chain as there are limited global lithium reserves

General Direct Lithium Extraction Process


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