Livent CEO Paul Graves said late last week the decision to withdraw had no bearing on the direct lithium extraction technology the former partners had been working on and instead would seek a different deal structure to continue to progress the development of the technology.
"Our decision does not reflect a view on the likely success of E3 in developing the Leduc Formation," said Graves.
E3 said it would continue to commercialise the technology developed to date. The Calgary testing facility will still open early next year, and work will continue towards the construction and operation of the field pilot plant to fully demonstrate the capabilities and effectiveness of the DLE technology.
As a result of Livent's withdrawal, all licences and rights to the technology will revert to E3, including C$2 million contributed by Livent, of which about $450,000 remains unspent. E3 no longer has an obligation to issue Livent 19.9% of its equity and outstanding warrants will return to the treasury for cancellation.
A recent preliminary economic assessment on the company's Clearwater project in Alberta estimated annual output of 20,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate over 20 years.
E3 shares (TSXV:ETMC) recently surged to a record high on the Clearwater PEA, but fell more than 20% on Friday to C$1.05, capitalising it at $36 million (US$27.7 million).