Arizona Lithium wants to see how deep those Canadian lithium brine reservoirs at Prairie actually are
Special Report: Arizona Lithium has appointed Rhythm Engineering as the drill contractor for the upcoming program at the Prairie lithium project in Saskatchewan, Canada, that will test two deeper brine formations.
Prairie has a resource of 6.3Mt of contained lithium carbonate equivalent – including 4.5Mt in the higher confidence indicated category – and benefits from being in one of the world’s top mining friendly jurisdictions with easy access to key infrastructure including electricity, natural gas, fresh water, paved highways, and railroads.
Importantly for Arizona Lithium (ASX:AZL) direct lithium extraction (DLE) pilot testing has already been successful in producing more than 6,000l of lithium concentrate grading an impressive 1,328 mg/L lithium while establishing an attractive baseline steady-state lithium extraction rate of 95.6%.
This has allowed the company to complete a Pre-Feasibility Study outlining robust economics for a Phase 1 production of 6,000tpa of LCE from Prairie.
Annual operating costs are estimated at US$2,819/t over its operating life while net present value and internal rate of return – both measures of a project’s profitability – are calculated at US$448m and 23.9% respectively with Capex estimated at just US$290m.
The upcoming drilling that will be carried out by Rhythm Engineering will test the deeper Dawson Bay and Souris River formations that are prospective for enriched lithium brine but have yet to be explored.
Both formations are below the Duperow formation and the resource of 6.3Mt LCE.
AZL has already received the well licences for the first two wells at Pad #1 and has started detailed planning ahead of field activities starting in Q2 2024.
Development wells are also being planned to support the production of lithium brine from Duperow and the disposal of depleted brines while subsequent wells will be drilled on Pad #2 and Pad #3, with the combined three pads anticipated to support the production of 6,000t LCE.
“The drilling program is officially underway with the commencement of the detailed planning phase, with field activities to commence in Q2 of 2024,” managing director Paul Lloyd said.
“We were very impressed with the proposal from Rhythm Engineering Inc. and although we had a plethora of options, we are confident that Rhythm are the group capable of completing this key task with the highest speed and quality.
“We look forward to keeping the market up to date with field activities as well as long lead time purchases/orders in order to continue ticking the boxes to successfully start production of lithium brines in 2025.”
Rhythm Engineering president of engineering and operations Keith Simard added that the driller looked forward to delivering the design and execution plans required to prove the world-class Prairie project and help secure and develop a long-term source of 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.