Arizona Lithium has started site preparation for its proposed pilot Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) facility at the Prairie lithium brine project in southern Saskatchewan, Canada.
The Australian-listed microcap wants to drill initial production and disposal wells in the first half of next year, after finishing its preliminary feasibility study and pilot project this year.
It says it has built a well pad and “will quickly advance from pilot operations to commercialisation of the first facility via the drilling of wells”.
“AZL is in the process of licensing the first production and disposal wells for this pad,” it said.
“The DLE pilot in Saskatchewan will provide Arizona Lithium with the final parameters needed to design, permit and construct its first commercial lithium extraction facility.
“While Prairie Lithium continues to develop, scale and operate its own DLE technology, the company is also testing other DLE technologies to ensure it deploys the most cost-effective technology onto its resource.”
The company is targeting production of about 2000 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) from a commercial DLE.
Prairie, in the Williston Basin, is said to host an indicated resource of 4Mt LCE, and inferred resource of 1.7Mt LCE.
“The ability to receive permits to construct the pad, highlights the expediency of the responsible and efficient Saskatchewan regulatory framework, which is built on years of oil and mining development,” Arizona Lithium managing director Paul Lloyd said.
“There is abundant infrastructure near this site, as this is a very active industrial region for agriculture, mining and oil.
“This ability to get things done is a prime example of why Saskatchewan is consistently named a top ranked jurisdiction for mining investment, and why we believe our project in Saskatchewan will be one of the first to market in North America.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the government of Saskatchewan on finalizing the licence and permits for our wells and lithium extraction operations over the coming months, as we continue to target 2025 for initial production.”
Arizona Lithium has a current market value of about A$55 million.