Annual Outlook: Building on Technology Breakthrough
Last year, the KMX team achieved its three goals for the year: 1) Manufacturing, 2) Diversification, and 3) Technology Enhancement.
The durability and performance of our Gen III membranes has exceeded expectations. The commercial team opened new market opportunities, which we hope to announce this coming year.
The technical team also achieved a technical breakthrough in mineral separation, which could be transformative for the extractive industries.
A major milestone for the team in 2023 was also our technology validation from the Canadian government.
In this update, we provide: 1) views on our two core markets, 2) a technology update, and 3) insights into our commercial outlook.
Despite our technology’s ability to address water challenges and mineral opportunities spanning various end-markets, KMX continues to focus on two core markets: 1) lithium and 2) oil & gas produced water (which is also lithium-rich).
- Lithium: Despite the recent short-term market softening for lithium, we believe lithium remains in the early stages of a multi-decade upcycle in demand.
The recent COP28 agreement to shift away from fossil fuels only amplifies the long-term trend towards electrification, with lithium as a key underpinning commodity, in our view.
As such, we believe any near-term underinvestment in lithium will only contribute to further supply-demand imbalances and corresponding price spikes in the interim-term.
The team is excited to work with leading lithium developers as they aim to bring lithium online in the most efficient, environmental, and economical manner.
- Oil & Gas Produced Water: Despite the looming structural decline for fossil fuels, we believe oil & gas will continue to play a meaningful role in the energy mix for decades to come. As a result, we are proud to contribute to making traditional energy production more sustainable.
The seismicity and water scarcity concerns fueling demand for KMX’s technology in the oil & gas market are increasing.
As a result, we are glad to see policy-makers in key oil producing states, such as Texas and New Mexico, taking measures to address these challenges, including creating a market for desalinated produced water (in the case of New Mexico) and limiting the use of seismic-inducing salt-water disposal wells (in Texas).
Canadian Government Technology Validation:
In 2023, the Canadian government research organization CanmetMINING announced it validated KMX’s technology, including the following key findings:
- “A post-DLE geothermal brine sample was processed using CanmetMINING’s pilot VMD system, in collaboration with KMX Technologies”
- “Sample was successfully concentrated to saturation, with >99.99% of all ions retained in the concentrate”
- “VMD was successfully used to concentrate both synthetic and industrial lithium-containing brine samples to saturation (~340,000 ppm TDS) at pilot scale”
KMX is proud to have a world-leading Vacuum Membrane Distillation (VMD) laboratory in Ontario. We are also excited to continue our collaboration with the Canadian government in 2024.
Mineral Separation Breakthrough:
Recently, we announced a technical breakthrough as part of a commercial demonstration for a leading mining company.
Using KMX’s proprietary VMD technology, the team successfully separated various minerals including potassium chloride from other salts and minerals.
Importantly, the results show the potential to access previously unmonetized minerals from brine sources globally, creating distilled quality water in the process, and potentially revolutionizing the extractive industries.
We are excited to work with select commercial partners on the commercialization of this important technology. We also hope to share more insights in the year ahead.
Much of 2023 was spent working with KMX’s core customers including demonstrations and engineering.
Multiple client demonstrations were run during the year at various locations, spanning brine sources, mineral constituents, and customer objectives. The team is excited with the results of our demonstrations and looking forward to the next phases of collaboration with our core customers.
Despite growing commercial prospects from potential new customers and new end-markets, the team is excited to maintain a high-level of focus on our current core customers while carefully evaluating new commercial partnerships.
Up Next: We hope to share some exciting unfolding developments in the year ahead, including additional technology and IP milestones, next steps with our core customers, and further diversification opportunities.