The technology has been tested for the last 20 years with very good results. Given the circumstances, Dr. John Burba has made substantial improvements to his innovation, making the plant more efficient and completely modular, using a very small portion of the salt flat land, which has practically had a non-existent impact on the environment, therefore being able to access any salt flat regardless of its size.
The first part of the plant is composed by mobile units and support structures, such as GNL tanks and water tanks that we bring from outside the area (we do not use the existing water at the salt bed or surrounding areas). The mobile plants pump brine to the surface, which allows for the extraction through a chemical process, of a Lithium Chloride solution of 35% to 40%. Parallel to this process, 90% of the extracted brine is reinjected into the salt flat with all its original minerals – such as magnesium, borum and calcium, among others- adding only 3 liters per second of industrial water for a production of 20.000 MT equivalent lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) a year, therefore preserving the hydrological levels. As we have previously stated, during this entire process no water that is present nearby local community is used, and instead Sorcia transports water from outside the area. One of the main benefits of using Sorcia´s mobile technology is that it allows to extract lithium chloride from small salt flats, even with low concentrations of lithium in their brine, which before this technology was economically unfeasible. All of the foregoing allows Sorcia to produce the first part in the salt flat with virtually no environmental impact at all. Because it is installed on mobile elements, once the works reach its conclusion, these elements are easily removed, leaving the salt flat in the same condition it was before the start of the operation, without affecting its flora and fauna, and also not affecting the surrounding communities, preserving the salt flats so that future generations can enjoy them.
The second part, which is the end of the production process, is performed at a fixed plant, located in an industrial area, far away from the salt flats and protected areas, in which Lithium Chloride of 35% to 40% will be transported by trucks and will feed the finished product processing plant. At this fixed plant Sorcia will ultimately obtain battery grade Lithium Carbonate and/or Hydroxide ready to be exported to international markets, producing small quantities of non-dangerous residue in the industrial zone where the plant will be located, and generating added value for the countries that have lithium resources in brine. The high quality of this final product, makes it into the most demanded product for the ion lithium manufacturers.