Extracted lithium from brine in old wells could find its way into batteries that power electric vehicles
Chris Doornbos, chief executive of Calgary-based E3 Metals Corp, looks at Alberta’s vast depleted oil and gas reservoirs and sees only opportunity.
His company is testing technology that, if successful, would extract lithium from the brine in old wells, which eventually could find its way into the batteries that power electric vehicles.
“It’s a big opportunity for the province because producing lithium is very similar to producing oil and gas,” said Doornbos, a geologist who previously worked for Suncor Energy Inc.
“There’s a huge repurposing side to this because not only are we looking at using the infrastructure, but we’re looking at the people and the skillsets — everything that oil is to Alberta, lithium could be as well.”
And like the oil sector, it has been anything but smooth sailing. On Thursday, E3 Metals announced it hopes to open its first facility to test its technology by the end of the month — a precursor to a pilot project that cost about $500,000 to develop — and its stock promptly dropped 11 per cent.