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.

Standard Lithium’s brine project in California

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.

Bristol Dry Lake project timeline

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.

Alset’s Rapid Mexican Lithium Salar Shows Progress

Last year, Alset Minerals Corp. (TSXV: ION) (“Alset”) doubled down on its Mexican salars project; a collection of three salt flats in central Mexico that reportedly contain exciting quantities of the sought-after battery component lithium. Today, further positive results have attracted considerable additional investment, and prompted the company to acquire 100% interest in the salars. A full drilling project is now underway in order to ascertain the depth at which lithium-rich brines exist, which will prove the area worthy of entering the booming energy-storage supply chain, and newly promote Mexico into the ranks of lithium-producing nations.

Already, the company has demonstrated that lithium metal can be recovered in valuable quantities from the surface soils; recent lab testing proved that a weak acid leach was more than sufficiently capable of extracting upwards of 97% of the precious tech-metal. Three different composite samples were created for the test, one for each salar, and moreover, previous positive results of scientific investigations of these soils were what inspired the company to sell-off their Canadian lithium play to focus more closely on the promise of the salars-down-south.

Although the project already has considerable merit based on the existing results, the discovery of subsurface brine pools with a high lithium-density would no doubt cause company stocks to skyrocket. Brines are renowned for providing the most economical form of product recovery, in that evaporation of the brine, once pumped to the surface, is all that is required to arrive at a decent composite product that can be refined further on-site. The majority of producing lithium brines are currently found in South-America, as part of the now-famous “lithium triangle” region that holds over half of the world’s reserves.

This is precisely the focus of the current drill; Alset has committed to creating two holes in the salar known as La Salada, purportedly the most promising of the three. As testing has yet to explore below five meters, the drill cores will assess the overall depth of La Salada and demonstrate the position of the brine horizon. Metallurgical testing and further analysis can then tell us exactly what may be taken from the area, but expect significant results given that La Salada has returned grades as high as 2000mg/l lithium, 8% potassium, and 60mg/l boron. Perhaps most excitingly, preliminary geophysical surveys have indicated that the ex-lake extends to a possible depth of seventy-meters, which when proven, would create one hell of a lithium mine.

Not to mention the fact that the presence of large quantities of potassium makes for significantly lower operating costs given that the material is in constant demand for the production of fertilizers the world over. Previously Alset Energy Corp, the company more recently decided to change its name to better reflect its goals. The supply of lithium alone will be sufficient to make a company into a market leader, but spreading one’s bets is always going to provide more benefits. The focus on delivering high-end mineral products to a variety of markets is a smart move, and will provide the company with a boost to security for the coming years.

Demand for lithium is still projected to speed uphill for the next ten years, our ever-growing need for newer and better energy systems is not abating anytime soon, and a rudimentary analysis of global production confirms this year-on-year. Lithium is utterly essential to fuel this growth, and anyone who can get their hands on decent quantities will reap the benefits of the curve; expect Mexico to soon join the ranks of global lithium exporters, and within driving distance of the Gigafactory, no less.

Neo Lithium: On-track to join the ever-growing ranks of producing juniors

Lithium has unquestioningly become a critical material, and the industry has really come into its own over the last few years. All signs point to an increase in demand of around 20,000 tonnes per year for at least the next few years, and hundreds of projects are creeping towards production. Neo Lithium Corp. (TSXV: NLC) (“Neo Lithium”) is well on-track to join the ever-growing ranks of producing juniors.

Neo Lithium entered into a $25m bought deal financing with Sprott Capital Partners following excellent progress on their promising brine and salars project. The company will issue 22.73 million units at a price of $1.10 per unit. The net proceeds, some $25m, will be used primarily to advance Neo Lithium’s Tres Quebradas project in Catamarca Province.

Neo Lithium is a relatively new junior on the scene, having floated on July 20, 2016 at CAD 1.20 per share. The stock did well and reached its year high of CAD 2.09, then retreated slowly back to a year low of CAD 0.91, recovering since then to its original CAD 1.20. In July 2016, lithium hype was running very strong, and we believe that the recent price dip has created an excellent entry point for anyone who missed the boat first time around.

The 3Q Project is located in the southern end of the “Lithium Triangle” in the Puna Plateau. The area is characterized by high altitude salt flats, many of which contain elevated lithium concentrations. Preliminary brine sampling results indicate these values are comparable, and in most cases higher, than current producing mines or projects under construction.

The largest lithium brine projects in the world are located in salars in the Lithium Triangle. The Project is located in the southwestern portion of the Catamarca Province of Argentina, the largest Lithium producing province of Argentina. The closest paved road to the Project is Ruta Nacional 60, which connects the capital city of San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, to Copiapó and the seaport of Caldera, via Paso de San Francisco. Neo Lithium is sole owner of the extensive brine/salar reservoir complex, which remains one of the lowest impurity brines in the industry.

Last year the company published geophysical results, which suggest that the northern portions of the project, including the northern reservoir and northern salar, were larger than originally thought by around 3km, taking it to approximately 100km², and extending down to approximately 100 metres under the northern reservoir and as deep as 300 metres under some sectors of the 3Q salar. Thus, the company’s total claim encompasses a recorded 300km² of the lithium triangle. Importantly, this claim houses the large lake-like complex and there are no competing claims to this property from any competitors.

CEO Waldo Perez had this to say regarding the geophysical results:

“The final geophysical survey results on the 3Q project are very impressive and encouraging. These results indicate that the highest-grade lithium zone is extensive and deep, generating a much larger target than originally anticipated.”

The results of various studies completed by Neo Lithium show that for every hectare of solar evaporation pond constructed, approximately 25 tonnes of lithium carbonate could be recoverable, very similar to other projects in the region. The results of the studies also demonstrate that the brine could produce potash as a by-product during the simple evaporation process, creating the potential for additional revenue at a later stage. With these results in hand, Neo Lithium has already forged ahead in designing a single hectare pilot pond series that will be constructed on-site to test these results.