Turning Trash Into Treasure

Jason Williams

Posted September 1, 2023

One of my favorite kinds of business is the kind that figures out how to make money from something others discard…

Like the hog farmer who sells walnut shells to the paint blaster who wants something less abrasive than sand that will still strip away paint and rust…

Or the company my Main Street Ventures investment community helped fund that takes manure from protein farms like the one that farmer owns and turns it into low-smell fertilizer and fresh water.

There are countless examples of creative people finding ingenious solutions to society’s problems and making a mint in the process.

Today, I want to introduce you to a whole new breed of such operations in the world of lithium production…

Those Numbers Don’t Add Up

You see, the vast majority of the world’s lithium reserves reside in liquid form in reservoirs deep underground. This liquid is called brine and the lithium is dissolved in it in salt form.

Now, estimates put the total amount of lithium contained in these brines at anywhere from 70%–80% of all the lithium on the planet.

That means about 20%–30% of the lithium on Earth is in hard rock form. This is called spodumene and it’s mined much like other metals.

Massive machines dig up millions of tons of dirt. That dirt is run through machines that expose it to caustic chemicals that help separate the dirt from the lithium.

It’s dirty, expensive, and, as you can imagine, terrible for the environment. And yet this is how some 70%–80% of the lithium supply is obtained every year.

So 70%–80% of the lithium is in brine form, yet we get 70%–80% of our lithium from spodumene.

Why is that? Well, it’s because as expensive, dirty, and pollutive as mining hard rock lithium is, it’s still cheaper, cleaner, and better for the planet than the current methods of getting to the dissolved stuff.

Lithium mining companies that are going after the brine deposits have a completely different challenge to deal with…

First, they’ve got to get the brine to the surface from those reservoirs deep underground. This involves pumping fresh water down into the chambers and pressurizing them enough to pump the brine out.

But the regions where these deposits are found are typically extremely dry ones. So these companies are basically stealing the limited freshwater the locals have to make your Tesla run.

But that’s not where it ends. Then then have to pump the brine into a vast complex of man-made lakes or evaporation ponds. These take years to construct and cost tens of millions of dollars.

The brine then sits in these ponds for about two years as the sun does its magic and evaporates away the water, leaving behind a slushy mess of various dissolved solids.

This slush is then transported to a machine that, much like the hard rock mining, exposes the slush to caustic chemicals to strip out the undesirable elements and leave you with usable lithium.

And that’s not the worst of it all. Some chemicals mix so well with the lithium while they’re in solution that this method can’t separate them.

From Worthless to Priceless

In fact, there are a lot of known lithium deposits that are just sitting there, undeveloped, for that exact reason.

There are too many other dissolved chemicals and traditional extraction techniques can’t remove them.

The properties are considered worthless and those potentially millions of tons of lithium sit there in the ground, unused.

But that’s all about to change. The whole lot of it, from where we get the majority of our lithium to how valuable previously unrecoverable lithium reserves are.

And that’s because, for the past decade or so, researchers at universities and in the private sector have been working on a new technique for extracting the lithium from that brine.

After countless experiments, a group of them has uncovered a way to extract lithium directly.

So there’s no need to build costly evaporation ponds. There’s no need to wait two years for the lithium, either.

This newly developed technique takes the waiting time down to a matter of hours in some cases and a matter of days at the longest.

It’s also able to target specifically the lithium and avoid all the other dissolved substances in the watery mixture.

And that’s actually how I was introduced to the breakthrough technology…

You see, while I was researching the industry, I came across a tiny company just getting operations started in South America in the famed Lithium Triangle.

But something was strange. This company’s asset had already been explored by other lithium miners. And they’d abandoned it.

So I had to know why this company thought it could turn a profit when the site had already been deemed worthless by other companies.

I gave them a call to find out and they introduced me to their lead geologist, who'd been working with a research team at the University of Melbourne.

And he introduced me to this incredible new technology that he and his team of fellow researchers had been working on for so long and were finally ready to implement in the field.

What he explained was that the property in question was in fact worthless — IF you didn’t have access to this kind of extraction technique.

But with it, all the impurities that made it too difficult for others to refine are removed and within a few hours, pure lithium ready to ship off to battery-makers comes out the other end.

Not only did he explain the technology and how it works, but he also told me that when they did finally get to use it in the field, it performed even better than in the lab.

It was able to extract over 90% of the dissolved lithium (compared with exactly 90% in the lab and only 40% in an evaporation pond).

So not only was this technology faster at producing usable lithium, but it was also better at it.

It had taken that site from worthless to priceless in the blink of an eye.

Technology We Need for Profits We Want

I did a little more digging to see if what the geologist was saying was possible and then fired off a recommendation to my microcap investing community.

Because any company that can produce more lithium faster than its competitors is going to be able to demand a king’s ransom for its shares.

And that’s because my research also showed me that we’re about to be facing a dire shortage when it comes to our global supply of lithium.

Analysts estimate that we’re going to need some 400 new mines if we stick with current technology. And they estimate we’ll need them by 2030.

Just for reference, there are less than 50 operational lithium mines in the world right now. And it’s taken our entire history as a civilization to get them running.

So 400 in the next seven years might be a little bit more than an over-ambitious goal. It might be considered downright impossible.

But that’s how much additional lithium we’ll need to meet expected demand as the EV industry continues its meteoric growth.

In fact, experts project that lithium demand will surpass 2 million tons in just a few short years:

lithium demand to 2030

In 2022, global production was 130,000 tons. In order to meet the expected demand, we need to produce 1,526% more lithium per year than we did in the last.

The ONLY way we’re going to be able to do that is by using new technologies to make the process more efficient and open up access to more reserves.

It’s similar to how fracking opened up the U.S. oil markets and allowed the country to become a net exporter for the first time in decades.

This new technology will do to the companies implementing it the same thing that the fracking boom did for its pioneers: send their shares soaring.

Your Chance to Join Us

But the thing is, just telling the members of my investing community isn’t enough. This technology is going to be a game-changer for the whole world.

And the gains some of the companies pioneering it are likely to make are the kind that can completely change your life.

Just think about the new generation of millionaires and billionaires fracking stocks created during that boom.

I’m convinced this one could be even bigger and create even more wealth. So in order to share the opportunity with as many people as possible…

I’ve put everything I’ve learned about this new technology — and how it could save the EV revolution and drive massive profits to the companies pioneering it — into a free presentation I’d like to share with you today.

But there’s a catch. The companies I’ve identified in my research are still tiny. And a big influx of investors could adversely affect the share price…

Which means I can’t offer access to this research for very long. After today, there’s a good chance you’ll never see it again.

So take a little time right now to give it some attention. Then you can get invested and start dreaming of how you’ll spend that newfound wealth.

To your wealth,


Jason Williams

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After graduating Cum Laude in finance and economics, Jason designed and analyzed complex projects for the U.S. Army. He made the jump to the private sector as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley, where he eventually led his own team responsible for billions of dollars in daily trading. Jason left Wall Street to found his own investment office and now shares the strategies he used and the network he built with you. Jason is the founder of Main Street Ventures, a pre-IPO investment newsletter; the founder of Future Giants, a nano cap investing service; and authors The Wealth Advisory income stock newsletter. He is also the managing editor of Wealth Daily. To learn more about Jason, click here.

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