Standard Lithium commences drilling South West Arkansas lithium project

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Standard Lithium Ltd. [SLI-TSXV, NYSE American; S5L-FSE] has commenced a drilling program at its South West Arkansas lithium project to support the forthcoming preliminary feasibility study. The drilling program will inform the resource definition and de-risk the resource estimate, provide additional porosity and permeability data through the entire thickness of the productive zones in the Smackover formation, and optimize production well field design.

Dr. Andy Robinson, president and chief operating officer, commented: “Since beginning the PFS work at our South West Arkansas lithium project last year, the team has been advancing numerous engineering and process studies, while simultaneously completing all the leases and permits required to start the drilling program.

“This systematic drilling program for both new wells and re-entries into pre-existing, plugged and abandoned wells will collect all necessary resource data for the forthcoming PFS as well as the majority of resource data for the subsequent definitive feasibility study (DFS, also known as bankable feasibility). Our ongoing engineering and costing work at phase 1A of our nearby Lanxess property project will also help inform the PFS. When complete, the PFS will provide an updated view of project feasibility and economics.”

The drilling program covers two new locations and three re-entries of plugged and abandoned (pre-existing) oil and gas wells. Typically, when a pre-existing well is being re-entered, it will be deepened to gather more data from the entire Smackover formation thickness underlying the project area.

The first re-entry into a pre-existing oil and gas well, the Beulah-Taylor No. 1, has been completed. The original well was a dry hole (from an oil/gas point of view) drilled for hydrocarbon in July 1982, and subsequently decommissioned in August 1982, and the drill pad had been unused since then. The drill rig commenced drilling on February 21, 2023. The drill string reached the base of the previous bore on March 3, 2023 (measured well depth was 8,690 feet), which penetrated into the upper Smackover formation by 183 feet.

The rig then continued to deepen the hole and drill new core in the upper and mid-Smackover formation limestones to a total measured depth of 8,940 feet on March 8, 2023. The new core has been sent for logging and porosity and permeability analysis, as have additional sidewall cores. Perforation of key production zones is currently being completed by a workover rig, while the drill rig has moved to the next location. Brine will be sampled from key productive zones in the Smackover formation over the coming weeks, and permeability tests and other in situ testing will also be completed.

The drilling program will continue through Q2 until completed, though not all the data collected will be required for the forthcoming PFS. Some key data from the drilling program (such as lithium concentrations in brine) will be made available as independent third party verified data become available.

Standard Lithium is a leading near-commercial lithium development company with a portfolio of projects in process. The company’s flagship projects, the Lanxess property project and the South West Arkansas project, are located in southern Arkansas near the Louisiana state line.

The company is focused on the evaluation and testing of commercial lithium extraction and purification from brine sourced from approximately 180,000 acres of leases across these two projects. The company operates a first-of-a-kind industrial-scale direct lithium extraction (DLE) demonstration plant at the Lanxess property project. The scalable, environmentally friendly process eliminates the use of evaporation ponds, reduces processing time from months to hours and greatly increases the effective recovery of lithium. A definitive feasibility study (DFS) and front-end engineering study (FEED) for phase 1A of the Lanxess property project commenced in September 2022. A preliminary feasibility study (PFS) of the South West Arkansas project commenced in May, 2022. The company is also pursuing the resource development of other projects in the Smackover formation, as well as approximately 45,000 acres of mineral leases located in the Mojave Desert, San Bernardino County, southern California.

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