In January, we released three annual goals for 2023: 1) Manufacturing, 2) Diversification, and 3) Technology Enhancement.
We are pleased to relay that all three of these goals have already been met. In this update, we highlight these milestones and provide a brief market outlook.
- Manufacturing: As it relates to manufacturing, our goal of driving continual improvement through our manufacturing process has been realized, as we have enhanced our Gen III design, manufactured by Sumitomo, and expanded our IP portfolio in the process.
- Diversification: In relation to diversification, KMX’s core market focus remains lithium; however, we expect to add non-lithium customers that are interested in treating wastewater to the highest standards and capturing critical minerals in the process.
- Technology Enhancement: In addition to expanding our IP portfolio through new Gen III design enhancements, the KMX technical team has realized breakthroughs that could significantly improve critical mineral security and extraction economics. We hope to relay more information soon.
Lithium: Several significant lithium market developments have unfolded recently which strengthen our long-term view of the lithium market.
The Chilean national lithium strategy was recently unveiled (with criticism for perceived protectionist policies). I argued that the national lithium strategy is positive, providing more long-term stability and growth potential and providing Chile a path to incorporate best-available technologies, including for water treatment and to maximize lithium recovery, such as KMX’s vacuum membrane distillation technology.
As a result, we are excited to enhance our commercial efforts in Chile, while others appear to be concerned about the effects of the policy.
In North America, Exxon’s recent lithium investment in Arkansas (where TETRA is also developing a lithium and bromine project), represents a step-change in the energy transition.
The recent Atlantic Declaration enhances US-UK collaboration in critical minerals. We are proud to support Cornish Lithium, the leading and innovative British lithium company, maximize lithium production and water recovery. Recently, Cornish Lithium announced its successful demonstration results with KMX and noted that its test work with KMX “has produced encouraging results that indicate the possibility of producing a saleable lithium chloride product without the need for evaporation”.
Oil & Gas: The case for treating oil & gas produced water continues to improve due to additional seismic activity in the Permian Basin. Further, oil & gas companies are increasingly interested in monetizing critical minerals, like lithium, which are found in low concentrations in produced water.
TETRA, the global exclusive license holder for KMX’s technology in the growing oil and gas produced water market, recently discussed its desalination efforts, highlighting its partnership with KMX. We are excited to continue to support TETRA, a global leader in aqueous solutions and water treatment, as it prepares to treat produced water for beneficial purposes.
New Markets: We are pleased to relay that we continue to gain commercial traction outside our core lithium market. We continue to receive significant inbound interest in our technology from both lithium and non-lithium companies, with applications spanning inland desalination, manufacturing and industrial wastewater treatment, and hydrogen production, for example.
Notably, we believe the unfolding domestic manufacturing revolution will drive further interest in capturing critical minerals in waste streams and increase demand for our technology in the US.
Up Next: We are currently running multiple demonstrations, pushing additional technology enhancements, and realizing further commercial traction. We hope to share some of the outcomes from these efforts soon.