E3 Lithium sampled brine in the Nisku from six well locations in its Clearwater project area that outlined lithium concentrations as high as 87 milligrams/litre. These results are from the first Nisku samples in the Clearwater project area, and are higher than the historic Nisku samples, which outlined lithium grades up to 75 mg/L.
Lithium concentrations sampled from six wells in the Nisku: Well No.6-11 returned 81 mg/L lithium. Well No.16-35 returned 87 mg/L. Well No.6-25 returned 87 mg/L. Well No.9-23 returned 675 mg/L (may resample). Well No.13-24 returned 83 mg/L. Well No.16-26 returned 84 mg/L.
“Finding higher concentrations of lithium in the Nisku is a significant discovery,” said Chris Doornbos, president and CEO. “This opens the door to potentially produce from an additional aquifer to the Leduc in the future. The Nisku is well known in Alberta as a prolific oil producer and is similar to the Leduc in that respect. E3 Lithium has not completed a resource estimate in the Nisku, and if successful, would add additional resources to our already significant resource base from the Leduc.”
The previously reported lithium concentrations ranging from 37 mg/L to 75 mg/L were from different well locations and were collected from oil and gas wells between 2017 and 2020.
The Nisku brine samples were analyzed by a third-party certified laboratory, following independently verified sample acquisition procedures that maintained a strict chain of custody, in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) guidelines.
The Nisku is located above the Leduc aquifer and stretches across E3 Lithium’s entire permit area where the company holds mineral rights, which include the rights to the lithium within the Nisku. The Nisku and Leduc are Devonian stacked reef complexes that have similar geological properties; however, the Nisku is generally not as thick as the Leduc. Both aquifers have high porosity and permeability, which allows for high-volume deliverability (that is, high brine flow rates), that may support the production of commercial quantities of lithium.
The Nisku and Leduc aquifers are confined aquifers, meaning they are not connected to the surface or any shallow, fresh, groundwater sources. The fluids in the aquifers are contained under pressure which naturally assists with fluid production. The Leduc and Nisku aquifers in E3 Lithium’s project area occur between two and three km below the Earth’s surface, depending on the location. It is common for historic oil and gas production to co-mingle, which allows for the simultaneous production of the two reservoirs for hydrocarbons, and a similar scenario could be applicable to the production of lithium.
E3 Lithium is a development company with a total of 16 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) measured and indicated and 900,000 tonnes LCE inferred mineral resources in Alberta. As outlined in E3’s preliminary economic assessment, the Clearwater lithium project has a net present value (8%) of US$1.1-billion with a 32% internal rate of return pretax and US$820-million with a 27% IRR after tax.
E3 Lithium’s goal is to produce high-purity, battery-grade lithium products to power the growing electrical revolution. With a significant lithium resource and innovative technology solutions, E3 Lithium has the potential to deliver lithium to market from one of the best jurisdictions in the world.