Date: Jan 18, 2018
MGX Minerals Inc. [XMG-CSE] says it has engaged Highbury Energy Inc. to develop a chemical process to concentrate and extract metals such as nickel, vanadium, and coke from petroleum coke. MGX shares jumped 26.5% or $0.34 to $1.62 on January 16, 2018, the day the agreement was announced. The shares soared last year as investors sought exposure to the predicted electric vehicle revolution through MGX, which aims to lead the way into petrolithium production, combining oil for conventional vehicles and lithium for electric vehicles produced from oilfield wastewater.

In keeping with that goal, the company has moved to establish itself as Canada’s biggest holder of lithium brine assets with around two million acres in North America.

Petcoke is a carbon material by-product, essentially a waste product of the oil and gas industry that forms during the oil refining process. As refineries have become more efficient at processing extra heavy crude oils (bitumen) over the last two decades, production of petcoke globally has risen significantly.

Because petcoke originates from heavier petroleum fractions, its denser impurities such as metals and sulphur compounds are concentrate within it. Most power plants in North America and Europe will not burn petcoke for fuel because it is so polluting. But it is freely available anywhere that bitumen is upgraded into synthetic crude oil, including the Alberta oilsands and refineries close to major U.S. cities.

According to the Alberta Energy Regulator, petcoke inventories are estimated to have reached 106 million tonnes in 2016.

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