• A further 1500 acres within core Smackover lithium-brine project area acquired
  • Total net leased acreage now over 18,570 acres – on its way to 20,000-acre target
  • Negotiations underway for re-entry well sampling program


Special Report: Lithium explorer Pantera Minerals has snapped up an additional 1500 acres worth of prime acreage in the prolific Smackover formation, where Li2O from brines using direct lithium extraction tech is being accelerated by global resources majors.

With the 9% increase to its landholding, Pantera Minerals (ASX:PFE) now has over 18,570 acres in the Smackover Formation, where resources majors such as ExxonMobil, Albemarle, Standard Lithium and Tetra are developing potentially multi-billion dollar projects to supply the burgeoning lithium market.


US market growth

Arkansas is emerging as a highly favourable location for lithium brine projects, boasting a well-established oil and gas industry, exceptional logistics and transportation links, and a proactive, supportive state government.

As the US shifts towards a clean energy future, lithium-ion batteries are becoming increasingly indispensable, serving as the backbone for EVs, grid-scale energy storage systems, and other applications.

Fastmarkets forecasts significant growth in demand for lithium in the US of 487%, requiring ~412,000t of lithium carbonate equivalent by 2030. It produces close to none itself currently, with just one major operation at Albemarle’s Clayton Valley brine.

These factors create an ideal environment for project development, positioning Pantera for long-term success in the region.


Pantera’s acreage in proximity to adjacent lithium-brine projects in the Smackover region. Pic supplied: (PFE)


With the upcoming achievement of its initial target of 20,000 acres, Pantera is poised to enter a new phase of project development, focusing on rapid exploration and evaluation of its area of interest.

While additional acreage will be pursued opportunistically, the primary objective remains the advancement of the existing project footprint.


Well exploration

Pantera has an exploration target of between 436,000-2.96Mt of contained LCE within its Superbird project.

It recently identified multiple re-entry wells within the project footprint, initiating negotiations with various well owners for a potential well re-entry and sampling program slated to commence in Q2 2024.

The program aims to gather crucial data on brine grade, permeability, and porosity from the Smackover Formation, further enhancing Pantera’s understanding of the project’s potential.

Pantera exec chair Barnaby Egerton-Warburton expressed optimism about the latest developments.

“We are pleased to have signed leases for an additional +1500 acres representing a further 9% increase in the total leased acres,” Egerton-Warburton says.

“As we continue to achieve positive results from our leasing program we can begin to further develop sub-surface modelling in preparation for re-entry and testing of wells.”


Looking ahead

Pantera is still negotiating significant project growth for Superbird with additional project acreage.

It’s also looking at the re-entry of the already identified well within the project area to test brine grade, permeability, and porosity using direct lithium extraction tests developed by two highly regarded DLE technology providers.

The explorer is acquiring existing 2D seismic, magnetic, and gravity data to facilitate subsurface modelling and identify drilling locations for the resource definition wells.

“The next 12 months promise to be a period of significant progress and value creation for the company in its quest to unlock the full potential of the Superbird lithium project,” Egerton-Warburton says.



This article was developed in collaboration with Pantera Minerals, 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.