• Navajo Transitional Energy Company will be responsible for managing the permitting requirements and development of the Big Sandy project in Arizona
  • Vern Lund, chief executive of NTEC, will join the AZL board
  • AZL to work with NTEC to realise the full potential of Big Sandy in Arizona


Special Report: Arizona Lithium has entered into a binding mining services agreement (MSA) with Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) for permitting and operations at the Big Sandy project.

This move, which formalises the terms initially agreed to under the strategic alliance term sheet in December 2022, will see NTEC take over the operational development of the Big Sandy project in Arizona.

NTEC will be responsible for the permitting requirements, exploration drilling, mine design, environmental assessments and development, through to the start of mining operations.

Vern Lund, chief executive of NTEC, will also join the AZL board, bringing +25 years of experience in mining operational management.

NTEC is a diversified energy company and the third largest thermal coal producer in the US with a workforce of 1,400 and operations both on and off the Navajo Nation.

It also owns the Navajo mine and has other operations in Montana and Wyoming.


‘Significant exploration upside’

AZL managing director Paul Lloyd says NTEC is the ideal operating partner for Big Sandy.

“Big Sandy represents a substantial development opportunity holding 320,800t of LCE, with only 4% of the project drilling, providing significant exploration upside once permitted,” he says.

Big Sandy is a very shallow, flat-lying, mineralised, sedimentary lithium resource of 32.5Mt grading 1,850 ppm lithium for 320,800t Li2CO3 (indicated and inferred) covering just 4% of the total ground held by the company.

It is also well located between the major cities of Phoenix and Las Vegas – and just 960km by sealed interstate highway from Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada.


What’s next?

AZL says both parties understand the cultural significance of the land near the proposed mining site and have begun the community engagement process to ensure Big Sandy prioritises appropriate cultural and environmental safeguards.

“We are very pleased to have signed a mining services agreement with NTEC and look forward to working closely with NTEC to realise the full potential of the Big Sandy project,” Lloyd says.



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.