As Calgary firms up its position as a clean technology leader in Canada, one prominent local startup is making waves with its novel sorbent-based “direct lithium extraction” tech.
Summit Nanotech Corporation this week unveiled fresh funding: a US$50 million Series A top-up that builds majorly on a $14 million initial Series A round secured last year.
The sizeable round hails from Evok Innovations and BDC Capital’s Climate Tech Fund. Previous investors Xora Innovation and Capricorn Investment Group also participated alongside new investors Volta Energy Technologies, NGP, Helios Climate Ventures, and The Grantham Foundation.
“Now that we’ve successfully piloted, these funds will allow Summit to advance to the next stage of commercialization,” says Amanda Hall, founder of Summit.
Summit currently operates a multi-client pilot project in Chile and is scaling their “denaLiTM DLE” technology. The company claims it can improve the average industry rate of production from 18 months to a single day while also conserving freshwater and preserving land.
Sustainable lithium production such as this will be critical to meet electric vehicle demand growth and realize the energy transition for decarbonization, according to a statement from the company.
“Our vision is to build the lithium mine of the future and we’re on track to do that,” said Hall, who serves as CEO. “Our world class investors and relentless team of innovators have positioned us to create wins for both lithium mining customers and electric vehicle manufacturers.”
Naynika Chaubey, a Partner at Evok Innovations, believes Summit’s technology is groundbreaking.
It “addresses the growing global need for lithium with a rapidly scalable, low-cost, and environmentally friendly approach which can unlock value in a wide variety of high-volume brines,” Chaubey noted.
Cheri Corbett, a Senior Partner of BDC Capital’s newer Climate Tech Fund, agrees.
“Batteries will play an increasingly important role in decarbonizing our economy,” said Corbett. “We believe that Summit has the right technology to ensure that lithium mining is done in both a responsible and sustainable manner. “
Summit technology enables “material greenhouse gas reduction and will help Canada reach its 2030 and 2050 climate targets,” believes the investor.
Lithium’s exponential demand growth “can only be met with the introduction of disruptive lithium extraction technologies,” stated Phil Inagaki of Fora last March. “We believe that Summit’s solution will play a critical role in ensuring that there is a sustainable supply of lithium to support the world’s electrification goals.”
Clean-tech pioneer Summit was founded in Calgary in 2018 and is among the fastest growing sustainability companies in Canada.