A company that aims to develop the lithium that occurs naturally within Alberta’s oilfield brines has pegged the estimated capital cost of its proposed Clearwater project at $2.47 billion.

Publicly traded junior resource firm E3 Lithium opened the province’s first lithium extraction pilot project near Olds, Alta. last fall.

The company aims to construct a full-scale commercial facility in the same area that would process battery-grade lithium product ready to be sold directly to battery producers and electric vehicle companies.

The company — which has financial backing from Imperial Oil Ltd. — announced Wednesday it has completed a pre-feasibility study that establishes a “clear and viable pathway” to commercialization.

E3 says its project would have an initial capacity of 32,250 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year.

The company is proposing to use carbon capture and storage technology to reduce emissions from its lithium processing facility, though the cost of that equipment is not included in the project’s estimated price tag.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2024.

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