Arizona Lithium (ASX:AZL) has taken a solid stride towards developing its Big Sandy lithium project with the engagement of Ausenco Engineering to complete scoping study work.

With strong experience in lithium and ongoing work on the study and execution phases in a wide range of resource development projects globally, Arizona-based Ausenco will evaluate extraction, treatment and transportation options for the project to create optimum value.

Recent metallurgical testing has already confirmed that Big Sandy ore can be easily beneficiated into a concentrate containing 71% of the lithium in just 36% of the whole ore mass that requires significantly less acid to leach.

Ausenco will also identify key cost centres, enabling process and project valuation optimisation, examine methods to lower water use, and leverage its Environmental, Social and Governance experience to help Arizona Lithium fulfil its goal of minimising its carbon footprint.

In addition, it will work with Hazen Research – who are nearing the completion of bench-scale testing program and concurrently completing test work – to help improve product quality and reduce operating costs.

Bringing in the tech

This could be achieved by employing promising new technologies such as leach solution purification using ion exchange, improved crystallisation methods for the final product, and further recovery of lithium from beneficiation waste.

Managing director Paul Lloyd says the scoping study represents the first step in making the Big Sandy project a global model for responsible and sustainable mining.

“Given the large existing JORC compliant lithium resource with excellent upside potential, AZL’s ability to produce a high-quality product in Arizona, USA, in a market with rapidly increasing demand and price, along with quality infrastructure choices and proactive State and Federal Governments, presents a highly promising future for Arizona Lithium and its shareholders,” he added.

The company is currently planning the construction of a demonstration plant and product qualification capabilities in Arizona.

Big Sandy

Located between the major cities of Phoenix and Las Vegas and just 960km by sealed interstate highway from Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada, the Big Sandy project is ideally located to support North America’s growing demand for lithium.

The project itself is a very shallow, flat lying mineralised sedimentary lithium resource and with excellent available infrastructure that has the potential to be developed with a very low environmental footprint.

It currently has Indicated and Inferred JORC resource of 32.5 million tonnes grading 1,850 parts per million (ppm) lithium for 320,800 tonnes Li2CO3.

However, there is plenty of room for growth given that this covers just 4% of the company’s tenure, which contains a conceptual exploration target of between 271.1Mt to 483.15Mt grading between 1,000ppm and 2,000ppm lithium.




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.