Nothing standard about Standard Lithium leading the wave of lithium producers in the USA
Lithium is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element. Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications; most notably in lithium-ion batteries used for consumer electronic devices, electric vehicles and energy storage. It is also interesting to note lithium has proven to be useful as a mood-stabilizing drug in the treatment of bipolar disorder in humans. Two types of lithium deposits dominate. One is hard rock for which ready to go capacity to produce battery grade lithium can take up to three years. The other is brine evaporation, which can take up to seven years. Demand for battery-grade lithium compounds is expected to skyrocket in the next few decades in tandem with soaring demand for electric cars as governments and individual consumers try to reduce their carbon footprint.
Standard Lithium Ltd. (TSXV: SLL | OTCQX: STLHF) is focused on unlocking the value of existing large-scale US based lithium brine resources. The Company believes new lithium production can be brought on stream rapidly by minimizing project risks at selection, resource, political and geographic, regulatory and the permitting stage; and by leveraging advances in lithium extraction technologies and processes.
Southern Arkansas lithium projects
Standard Lithium is commencing due diligence and resource evaluation on 30,000+ acres of brine leases located in the Smackover Formation in southern Arkansas. The Company recently reported four brine samples recovered from two existing wells in the project area showed lithium concentrations ranging between 347–461 mg/L lithium, with an average of 450 mg/L lithium in one of the wells, and 350 mg/L in the other. The Smackover deposit may be one of the lithium industry’s most promising regions to develop, given the potential resource size and existing large-scale production infrastructure (including active large-scale brine extraction, processing, and brine re-injection facilities).
Robert Mintak, CEO of Standard Lithium, stated: “The recent sampling results confirm our development strategy of acquiring assets with substantial data and existing infrastructure, as we were able to complete this work program at minimal cost to the company and shareholders. With our key agreements and partnerships in place, a maiden resource report and a demonstration plant on the horizon, we believe the Company’s southern Arkansas projects are set to play a leading role in the next wave of lithium producers.”
Bristol Dry Lake Lithium Project – California
The Company is also focused on the immediate exploration and development of their 45,000 acre Bristol Dry Lake Lithium Project located in the Mojave region of San Bernardino County, California. Standard Lithium’s partnership with two permitted brine operators provides it with immediate access to raw brine. Owing to extremely high evaporation rates in the project area, it is possible to concentrate brine from initial lithium concentrations of 146 mg/L to an average concentration of 686 mg/L in approximately 6 weeks. A Preliminary Economic Assessment on the project is expected in the first half of 2019.
Momentum is building, and is expected to keep building in the electric vehicle and energy storage industries. Factor in the impending deployment of 5G enabled radio access networks and 5G ready devices, the world’s demand for lithium could skyrocket. Standard Lithium’s US based lithium projects could be in a key position when their projects come online to take advantage in these potentially massive industries. Prior to that there are several near term catalysts. It seems like there’s nothing standard about Standard Lithium.
Standard Lithium explores, produces and develops lithium as well as offers services such as geological studies, drilling, and project management services. Headquartered in Vancouver Canada, Standard Lithium has a market cap of C$ 103 m.
Matthew Bohlsen is a Senior Editor for InvestorIntel.com. With a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment, and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning. He ... <Read more about Matthew Bohlsen>