British Columbia-based Standard Lithium and its main investor are both hitting back at a report by short-seller Hindenburg Research that says Standard Lithium’s Arkansas lithium project is based on a technology that does not work, Kallanish reports.

Standard Lithium issued a statement, calling the report by the New York-based research firm “false and misleading.” The company says it has been operating a demonstration plant in Arkansas since May 2020. The company says it “is confident in its lithium extraction technology and demonstration plant.” Standard has said its proprietary direct lithium extraction technology uses an adsorption process to filter lithium from brine.

The company also defends its ceo Robert Mintak and denies that the company is part of a “long-running stock promotion scheme.” It says that all of its patent applications for the lithium extraction technology “are active and continue to be prosecuted in the ordinary course.” The company also says it believes “the report is clearly intended to benefit Hindenburg Research, which itself has disclosed that it stands to profit in the event that the stock price of Standard Lithium declines.”

Its main financial backer, Koch Industries, also defends Standard Lithium. Koch Industries invested $100 million last fall and is partnering with the company on the Arkansas project.

After the 59-page Hindenburg Research report was released, Standard Lithium stock dropped 27% before rebounding. The technology is based on patents that were rejected by US officials, it says. Mintak’s previous company failed to commercialise its lithium technology, it says. It says Koch Industries should be aware of what is happening.

Last November, short-seller Blue Orca published a similar report questioning the Standard Lithium technology. Standard Lithium denied those allegations.

Hindenburg Research has also targeted Nikola Corp and Lordstown Motors. It has not disclosed the size of its Standard Lithium short position.