- Drilling license has been approved for the first well at Pad #1
- Pilot plant DLE testing of Prairie brine is continuing
- A pre-feasibility study is expected for release before the end of the year
Special Report: Arizona Lithium has been on a tear lately with the development of its Prairie lithium brine project in Saskatchewan, Canada and has just received approvals to drill its first brine well at Pad #1, a vital step towards first production.
The news comes less than a fortnight after Arizona Lithium (ASX:AZL) completed the commissioning of its direct lithium extraction (DLE) lithium brine pilot plant. Commercial production is planned for Q1 2025 at a rate of 6,000 tonnes of LCE per annum with PFS planned for completion by the end of 2023. Construction of the first well pad was completed this month and now drilling approvals have been obtained.
Prairie has a 5.7Mt lithium brine resource in the Williston Basin of Saskatchewan, Canada – a jurisdiction that has easy access to mining infrastructure with strong environmental credentials that are aligned with AZL’s sustainable approach to lithium development.
While Prairie is its flagship asset, it’s also developing its Big Sandy lithium brine project which has a resource of 320Kt and a nearby Lithium Research Centre (LRC) where it’s testing its own and third-party extraction methods.
The company holds a proprietary DLE tech – Prairie Lithium Ion Exchange (PLIX) which selectively extracts the lithium from brine using equipment that’s anticipated to be readily available at a commercial scale.
Having previously produced high-purity lithium using third-party DLE tech, pilot plant testing of Prairie brine material will complete the third and final phase of the extraction selection process, leaving all doors open to the best and most cost-effective tech to its resource.
Approvals for Pad #1
The constructed pad allows for the drilling of the first production well will target 2,000tpa lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), generating income which AZL says will allow it to quickly advance from pilot plant operator to full commercialisation.
AZL MD Paul Lloyd says receiving approval on the company’s first well is an extremely positive step forward for the Prairie project.
“With the well pad built, and the well licence approval in place it allows us to move into the planning and execution phase for drilling the initial wells, advancing AZL another step closer to production in the first half of 2025,” Lloyd says.
“These wells are the cornerstone for our first commercial DLE facility.”
I have been communicating to shareholders the ease at which approvals would be obtained in this well established oil and gas producing region of Canada, but it is very exciting to announce today that drilling approvals have already been obtained. The talk has been converted into the walk. The AZL team in Canada have fast tracked the permitting and are very exciting to be drilling in H1 2024.
A PFS for the project is underway and expected to be released by the end of the year.
This article was developed in collaboration with Arizona Lithium, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.
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