Standard Lithium Ltd. [SLI-TSXV, NYSE, S5L-FRA] has announced the results of a positive preliminary feasibility study (PFS) for its Southwest Arkansas lithium project, also known as the Lanxess Project.
The study is in line with Standard’s plan be a North American supplier of lithium chemicals by bringing the first new commercial lithium project into production in the U.S. in six decades.
The PFS indicates base case production of 30,000 tonnes per year of battery-quality lithium hydroxide monohydrate. The projected 20-year-plus operating life is supported by an updated 2023 Upper Smackover indicated and Middle Smackover inferred resource of 1.4 million tonnes and 400,000 tonnes LCE, respectively, at an average grade of 437 mg/L. Capital expenditures are pegged at $1.3 billion, including a 20% contingency.
The company said it is targeting construction to begin in 2025 with production to commence in 2027, subject to continuing project definition, due diligence, available financing and receipt of future feasibility studies.
Standard Lithium shares advanced on the news, rising 0.83% or $0.05 to $6.07. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $8.58 and $3.85.
Standard said the project will pump brine from the Smackover formation aquifer via production wells, extract lithium from the brine, convert it to a saleable product, and then reinject the effluent brine via injection wells to maintain pressure in the reservoir.
The PFS assumes a network of 21 brine supply wells will be completed in the Smackover Formation, producing approximately 7,500 US gallons per minute. A basket of 22 injection wells will support pressure maintenance in the Smackover aquifer to maintain long-term production.
Brine from the supply wells will be routed to a lithium extraction and lithium hydroxide production facility by a network of underground fiberglass pipelines. The brine entering the production facility will be pre-treated and then processed.
Standard is a technology and lithium development company engaged in the testing and proving of the commercial viability of lithium extraction from over 150,000 acres of permitted brine operations.
The company has commissioned a first-of-a-kind industrial scale direct lithium extraction demonstration plant at Lanxess’s south plant facility, which is located 50 kilometres east of the South West Arkansas project. The demonstration plant utilizes the company’s proprietary LiSTR technology to selectively extract lithium from the project’s tail brine.
The demonstration plant is being used for proof-of-concept and commercial feasibility studies.
Standard says the process eliminates the use of evaporation ponds, reduces processing time for months to hours and greatly increases the effective recovery of lithium.