Clean Technology Canada

MAX Power cleared by U.S. government for development of Direct Lithium Extraction technology

May 15, 2023 | By Canadian Manufacturing

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VANCOUVER — MAX Power Mining Corp. has entered into a cooperative research and development agreement with the University of California Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to develop direct lithium extraction technologies for brine resources.


  • Dr. Brett Helms and Dr. Michael Whittaker, two preeminent American research scientists at LBNL, are leading the technology development;
  • Dr. Helms is the co-founder of two deep tech Bay Area start-ups while Dr. Whittaker is the co-founder and Director of the Lithium Resource Research and Innovation Center at Berkeley Lab;
  • MAX Power and LBNL will focus on developing new intellectual property and incorporating innovative methods and novel materials into the DLE process;
  • MAX Power and its executives have been cleared by the U.S. Department of Energy to proceed with this project.

Mr. Rav Mlait, MAX Power CEO, commented: “Collaborating with two individuals of the stature of Brett Helms and Michael Whittaker on potential groundbreaking DLE technologies is tremendously exciting for MAX and further enhances our overall value proposition.”

The agreement with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will focus on new DLE technologies targeting lower grade and challenging lithium brine deposits located in the United States and Canada. This is largely in response to the strategic initiative undertaken by the U.S. and Canada in their 2022 Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals to advance bilateral interest in securing supply chains and resources for critical minerals like lithium needed for strategic manufacturing sectors, including communication technology, aerospace and defence, and clean technology.

The continuous global trend to massive electric vehicle manufacturing and instituting alternatives to fossil fuel energy presents an opportunity to use technology to unleash lower grade lithium deposits in order to secure additional North American supply while also reducing time and costs for lithium mineral extraction.

The MAX Power-LBNL research agreement is targeting dynamic new approaches in DLE covering pre-treatment, concentration, extraction, purification and post-treatment.

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