Arizona Lithium will set up shop in one of the world’s hallmark cities for battery technology and research, signing a lease to develop a world class lithium research centre in Phoenix, Arizona.

Phoenix, the home of Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks, the NFL’s Cardinals and the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, is also home to some of America’s (and the world’s) most forward thinking new energy plays and researchers.

Those big names include Kore Power, LG Energy Solutions, Lucid Motors, Nikola Corporations, the Arizona State University – and now Arizona Lithium (ASX:AZL).

Run by experienced and well regarded AZL chief technology officer Brett Rabe, AZL will use the five year lease over the 9700m2 property in Tempe, around 15km southwest of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, as a technology incubator to study the extraction of lithium from various ores and brines.

With a 1900m2 R & D building and 3000m2 lot to fabricate prototype processing equipment, the facility will also look into the production of battery-grade lithium chemicals for current and future battery technologies.

It will showcase the processing steps required for AZL’s Big Sandy and Lordsburg lithium projects, the former of which boasts a 320,000t lithium carbonate equivalent resource in shallow sedimentary hosted deposits.

Construction is expected to be completed within just four months, with key processing steps operational by the fourth quarter of 2022.

“We are delighted to announce the lease for this world class Lithium Research Center in one of the top destinations for EV and battery production in the world,” Rabe says.

“We are already significantly advanced in the design of the facility and are currently procuring equipment, with staff recruitment also underway.

“We look forward to working with ore from the Big Sandy resource, and I am confident that the AZL Research Center will act as a hub for technological advancement in the lithium industry and strategic collaborations.”

Bigger ambitions

AZL wants the facility to not just support the development of its own Big Sandy project, where a scoping study is expected to be completed in July 2022.

Managing director Paul Lloyd says the research centre will also look at the processing of other lithium deposits and ore types.

“Today marks a significant milestone for the development of Big Sandy and for what we believe to be the lithium industry as a whole,” Lloyd says.

“We have signed a long-term lease for the development of a Research Centre that will initially test the Big Sandy ore body, but we expect will ultimately test other lithium sources and become a centre for innovation within the lithium industry.”

The project has close support from the local government and business community, in line with broader goals from the Biden administration to bankroll the development of a local lithium and EV supply chain.

“We note the support of the Arizona government, and particularly the Arizona Commerce Authority, who have helped us with the Research Centre, as well as providing grants and incentives to further improve the economics,” Lloyd says.

“We will use this Research Center to refine our flow sheet based on the previous test work undertaken by Hazen Research, and also explore new technologies.

“With the recent appointment of Brett Rabe as Chief Technical Officer, we have a fantastic leader for this project, and we are excited to see it in operation later this 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.