Anson’s cup runneth over with lithium as assays exceed expectation at Paradox
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Anson Resources has upgraded the potential of its Paradox lithium project, outperforming its pre-drilling estimates of lithium grades in a prospective new unit of the Utah basin.
Drilling reported an assay value of 100ppm lithium and 2460ppm bromine, 25% above the minimum 80ppm lithium anticipated in an exploration target from historic oil and gas wells.
The results confirm to Anson (ASX:ASN) the massive, supersaturated brine aquifer in the Mississippian Units is rich in lithium and bromine.
Given the Mississippian units sit outside Anson’s current JORC Resource of 186,000t LCE at Paradox, the drilling into the targeted Mississippian unit is poised to deliver a significant upgrade.
The brines are similar to those in the already tested clastic zone, and sit about 500m deeper with a thickness of between 70-170m.
This drilling, in the Long Canyon No. 2 well, shows grades are well within expected range for the exploration target of 1.3-1.8Bt of brine at 80-140ppm Li and 2000-3000ppm Br.
That has the potential to add between 553,000-1.34Mt of lithium carbonate to the existing resource, as well as between 2.6-5.4Mt of bromine.
It is well known that the production of lithium to feed demand from the growing electric vehicle industry will need to accelerate across the decade as carmakers shift production lines to concentrate solely on electric vehicle production.
Anson’s current, ongoing, drilling campaign is designed to deliver a substantial resource upgrade at the Paradox Project. Its drilling is targeting a new source of lithium, from wells previously drilled for oil and gas with extremely saturated brines.
While their lithium content has been known about for some time, it is only recently that demand for lithium has supported exploration for the critical mineral in previously overlooked styles of mineralisation.
One benefit of the Paradox basin is the high porosity of the rocks, and the pressure within the wells, which may enable the lithium-rich brine to be transferred to the surface under its own pressure, without the need for pumping.
Brines in the Mississipian unit have previously been tested for salt minerals during historic oil exploration programs and have a similar composition to the previously assayed brines used for the clastic zone resource.
One well, Big Flat 2, was previously tested for lithium and bromine.
The Big Flat 2 well, which is only 150m east of the western-most Paradox Lithium claims, had a recorded assay of 81ppm Li and 2,041ppm Br.
The limestones and dolomites in southeastern Utah, where Paradox is located, are known for their vuggy (cavities) and intracrystalline porosity.
Recently discovered diamond core from the Project area points to these geological features at Paradox, with the high porosity indicating its ability to store salt-rich brines.
Anson says the historic drilling logs it has obtained from a number of wells in the same area will be combined with the logs from its exploration re-entry programs, as well as other test work, and will be processed (using ARANZ Leapfrog Hydro software) to update the original 3D geological model and determine volume metrics.
The conceptual model will be applied to design a flow model for the brine, which will calculate the number of supply wells and piping network required to provide sufficient brine to feed Anson’s planned lithium/bromine production facility.
This article was developed in collaboration with Anson Resources, 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.