Standard Lithium shares rally on positive PEA news

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Standard Lithium Ltd. [SLI-TSXV, NYSE, S5L-FRA] has released positive results of preliminary economic assessment (PEA) as well as an updated inferred mineral resource for its Southwest Arkansas lithium project, also known as the Lanxess Project.

Standard Lithium shares advanced on the news, rising 7.5% or 73 cents to $10.43 on volume of 444,910. The shares currently trade in a 52-week range of $11.90 and $1.81.

Standard is a technology and lithium development company. Its flagship project is located in southern Arkansas, where it is 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 in southern Arkansas. The demonstration plant utilizes the company’s proprietary LiSTR technology to selectively extract lithium from the project’s tail brine.

Lithium hydroxide monohydrate battery quality price assessment was completed. Project pricing was based upon the current price of US$14,500 per tonne

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.

On Tuesday, the company said the development plan for the PEA considers the production of battery-quality lithium hydroxide, averaging 30,000 tonnes per annum over a 20-year operating time frame. The PEA also contemplates the extraction of brine from the southern portion of the project, where the brine has a higher lithium grade, and better reservoir characteristics, and reinjection of the tailbrine into the northern part of the project where the lithium grade is significantly lower.

Standard said the project is located in an area with significant existing infrastructure such as water, power, gas, road, rail and labour; plus existing operating oil and gas assets, including wells, collection systems, easements and gas processing facilities.

“The completion of this PEA for the SWA Lithium project is an important milestone for Standard Lithium as it begins to showcase the significant potential that is present within the Smackover Formation in southwestern Arkansas,” said Standard Lithium President and COO Dr. Andy Robinson.

The PEA has been updated to consider the potential unitized area of production, leading to an increased total in-situ resource of 1.19 million tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) at the inferred category.

The lithium brine inferred resource is contained within the Upper and Middle Members of he Smackover Formation, a late Jurassic oolitic limestone aquifer that underlies the entire project.

The PEA envisages a direct capital cost of US$532, with indirect costs of US$205 million. A contingency of 25% was applied to the direct costs (US$133 million) to yield an estimated all-in capital cost of US$870 million and operating costs of US$2,599 per tonne of battery quality lithium hydroxide.

The SW Arkansas Lithium project is based on the company’s existing brine leases which are maintained through an option agreement with Tetra Technologies Inc. [TTEK-NASDAQ], a U.S. company, that has a net lease area of 11,033 hectares.

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