As the Smackover (SMK) Lithium (Li) play picks up steam we need to acknowledge that from regulatory and legal standpoints, there will be significant differences between the play in South Arkansas and in East Texas.  Very soon we expect to know more about royalty provisions and regulatory guidelines.  From past experience with dissimilarities between Texas and Louisiana mineral laws and regulatory statutes governing the Haynesville Shale, we hope to limit confusion and make it easier to access the information that will be pertinent to land and mineral owners.

In order to help members and quests to the website and to avoid confusion, we will start two new discussions, one for Texas and one for Arkansas.  There is an abundance of information in the original SMK Lithium discussion threads and members may want to click on them and then save them to their computer bookmarks/favorites to be able to access them in the future as they will eventually rotate off the main page.  After 24 hours, comments in those discussions will be closed but the replies will remain available in the website archive.   Archived discussions are available by using the search box in the upper right corner of all website pages. was one of the first resources for mineral owners to learn basics, share information and generally provide a place where mineral owners could become more informed managers of their mineral assets in the age of the Internet.  The website is pleased to continue to provide those services to those who will benefit from the SMK Lithium Play.  Please keep in mind two things.  You are a key part of the on the ground intelligence network by letting your friends and neighbors know about and encouraging them to participate in site discussions.  And since is free for all to use, please consider a donation to help keep the website online.

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Pantera Minerals acquires more Lafayette County brine acreage  4/17/2024

Pantera Minerals Limited has added more than 1,500 leased acres to its lithium brine project in Lafayette County.

The Perth, Australia company said the expansion continues to bolster Pantera’s Lithium Brine Project, elevating its total acreage to 18,570 net acres, an increase of 9%.

Negotiations are currently under way for significant additional acres.

The Pantera Lithium Brine Project has established a conceptual Exploration Target4 ranging from 436,000 to 2,966,000 tonnes of contained Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (“LCE”) within the project’s 50,000-acre Exclusive Abstract Area, which houses the Superbird Project.

The estimate is based on lithium concentrations ranging between 225 mg/L and 450 mg/L with a median value of 338mg/L, showcasing the potential world-class scale of the project.

The Exploration Target’s potential quantity and grade is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a JORC compliant Mineral Resource, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a such a resource.

The Project now covers a land position of 18,570 net leased acres of lithium brine prospective ground in the Smackover Formation Arkansas, a known high grade lithium brine formation.

The Project has established a conceptual Exploration Target ranging from 436,000 to 2,966,000 tonnes of contained LCE within the project’s 50,000-acre Exclusive Abstract Area, which houses the Superbird Project.

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Oil and Gas: New lithium well in Lafayette County  4/18/2024

Lithium, oil and gas drilling activity was reported last week to the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission.

Drilling Permit

Saltwerx LLC of Spring, TX is the operator and Nabors is the contractor for the Poppy No. 1 lithium brine

well, 729 feet FSL and 1,604 feet FEL in Section 11-18S-25W in a wildcat field in Lafayette County. Permit

depth is to 10,500 feet. Work began April 12.

Standard Lithium Successfully Commissions First Commercial-Scale DLE Column in North America

Commercial-Scale DLE Column Now Commissioned and Operational at SLI’s Demonstration Plant in Arkansas Utilizing Koch Technology Solutions Li-Pro LSS Unit

April 24, 2024 06:00 ET | Source: Standard Lithium

Link to full article with images and captions

  • EL DORADO, Ark., April 24, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Standard Lithium Ltd. (“Standard Lithium” or the “Company”) (TSXV:SLI) (NYSE American:SLI) (FRA:S5L), a leading near-commercial lithium development company, is pleased to announce that it has successfully commissioned and validated the performance of the largest continuously-operating Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE”) equipment in North America. The Company recently installed a commercial-scale DLE column at its Demonstration Plant near El Dorado, Arkansas. The column is a Li-ProTM Lithium Selective Sorption (“LSS”) unit, supplied by Koch Technology Solutions, LLC (“KTS”).

The column was installed and integrated into the Company’s existing Demonstration Plant, and is currently extracting lithium from Smackover Formation brine at an input flow rate of 90 gallons per minute (“gpm”; or 20.4 m3/hr). This is, to the best of the Company’s knowledge, both the largest DLE installation, and the only example of a commercial-scale DLE column in operation in North America. Since commissioning, the column has operated continuously and exceeded the design parameters for lithium recovery and rejection of impurities. Key technical highlights of the commercial-scale DLE column are provided below:

Key Findings:

  • Lithium Recovery Efficiency: During a representative two-week period of performance in April 2024, the Li-ProTM LSS (DLE) process achieved an average lithium recovery (i.e. after loading and elution) of 97.3% from the 90 gpm incoming brine flow (the average incoming brine contained 208 mg/L lithium during the same period).
  • Element Rejection Rate: During the same period, the DLE process rejected, on average, over 99% of the key contaminants sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium from the brine (i.e. less than 1% of those contaminants made it through the DLE step into the first lithium chloride solution); and over 95% of boron was rejected.
    • This high degree of contaminant rejection after DLE results in a substantially purified lithium chloride solution (the eluate). This eluate can then be further refined and concentrated using tested and proven steps to make it ready for conversion to either lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide. These additional process steps have been successfully demonstrated for several years at the Company’s Demonstration Plant. In simple terms, when the DLE step rejects a higher percentage of impurities, the final lithium chloride solution, which is converted to battery-quality products, can be produced more efficiently.
  • Operational Cycles: The most recent full-size commercial scale Li-ProTM LSS column has completed over 86 operational cycles, and the Li-ProTM LSS technology has completed over 8,500 operational cycles at the Demonstration Plant.
  • Brine Processed: As of the end of March 2024, the Demonstration Plant had processed 17,039,825 gallons (64,495,738 litres) of Smackover brine, produced directly from the formation and reinjected continuously back into the same formation.
  • Lithium Chloride: Since May 2020, the Demonstration Plant has produced many millions of gallons of ‘raw’ lithium chloride eluate from several generations of DLE technology development. Almost all of the ‘raw’ lithium chloride has been returned to the formation through LANXESS’ existing tail brine reinjection infrastructure. Additionally, over the last 4 years, approximately 330,000 gallons (1.25 million litres) of concentrated and/or purified lithium chloride solution have been produced for further process testing or for conversion into battery-quality lithium carbonate or hydroxide.

The performance of this commercial-scale DLE column is being used to validate the design assumptions for the Phase 1A Project and also underpins the process design work underway for the South West Arkansas (“SWA”) Project (see Press Release dated 24 January 2024).

Standard Lithium’s Director, President & COO, Dr. Andy Robinson commented: “Importantly, the column currently operating at SLI’s Demonstration Plant is identical to those that will be used in the commercial application, both in terms of the size, design and construction of the column, as well as the sorbent media being used inside. As such, this important collaboration between SLI and KTS at our Demonstration Plant is the first example in North America of DLE technology being deployed successfully using commercial-scale equipment. Validation of performance and successful operation of this column is a significant derisking step on our way to becoming the next major sustainable lithium producer in North America.

About Standard Lithium Ltd.

Standard Lithium is a leading near-commercial lithium development company focused on the sustainable development of a portfolio of lithium-brine bearing properties in the United States. The Company prioritizes brine projects characterized by high-grade resources, robust infrastructure, skilled labor, and streamlined permitting. The Company aims to achieve sustainable, commercial-scale lithium production via the application of a scalable and fully-integrated Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE”) and purification process. The Company’s signature projects, the Phase 1A Project and the South West Arkansas Project, are located on the Smackover Formation in southern Arkansas, a region with a longstanding and established brine processing industry. The Company has also identified a number of highly prospective lithium brine project areas in the Smackover Formation in East Texas and is conducting an extensive brine leasing program in the key project areas. In addition, the Company has an interest in certain mineral leases located in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California.

Standard Lithium trades on both the TSX Venture Exchange and the NYSE American under the symbol “SLI”; and on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol “S5L”. Please visit the Company’s website at

About Koch Technology Solutions

KTS is the technology licensing business of KES. KTS creates value for its customers across a growing portfolio of technologies including direct lithium extraction, the polyester value chain, and 1,4-Butananediol plus its derivates. KTS combines its exclusive technologies, expertise, and capabilities with those of other KES companies to provide overall solutions to optimize customer’s capital investments and existing manufacturing assets.

Qualified Person

Marek Dworzanowski, EUR ING, CEng, HonFSAIMM, FIMMM, a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, and a Consulting Metallurgical Engineer who is independent of the Company, has reviewed and approved the relevant scientific and technical information in this news release.

Hope my math is correct.

90 gpm = 129,600 gallons per day (3086 bbls) of water (assuming 24/7 ops)

  • 208 mg/liter lithium concentration or 0.000458562 pounds per gallon water

97.3% efficiency

  • So 57.8 pounds lithium per day

Lithium price this week is around $6.92 per pound

  • So about $400 of lithium per day being recovered (24/7 operation)

Seems low - what am I missing???

Thanks for the math, Rock Man.  I don't think you missed anything.  This is the reported performance of a column.  So how many columns would a full scale manufacturing facility have?  And what are the estimates of future lithium prices when the earliest DLE facilities will come on line in 2026?  The price of lithium is low now because the demand is low but the demand is forecast to rise significantly in the not too distant future.

I'm still unclear on what a stand alone DLE facility would look like and how many supply wells would serve each and how large in acres would be the brine production unit.  If a unit would be 700 to 1000 acres, that would be a lot of stand alone plants which doesn't seem ideal but larger footprint plants would be quite costly considering the expense for pipeline systems and the cost to operate and maintain them.

When lithium hit our radar, I created internet alerts for key words:  Smackover, Lithium and Brine. Since then my inbox is full of internet articles on global lithium projects including a number in North America, companies promoting their business plans and attempting to attract investors and differing types of lithium production methods.  At the rate that lithium is becoming a global commodity of interest, the demand will need to be great or the vast majority of these projects will fail.  DLE is certainly more environmentally friendly than surface mining and evaporation ponds but if transportation costs are not a limiting factor, the low cost producer wins.  Even if that low cost producer is not environmentally friendly and is located half way around the world.

I think your math is a little off. 

The conversion is a mas/volume divided by 119,800.  So 208 mg is 0.001736 lb/gal

At 97.3% efficiency it is .001689 lb/gal

Times 129,600 gal/day yields 218.89 lbs

At $6.92/lb total amount/day is $1,514.73

I tried it another way by converting gallons to liters price/lb to price/mg and came up with the same answer.

However I am a left handed engineer and have been known to get things backward.

Another question about the wells in Arkansas.  When a well is drilled how much of the surrounding area is included in the lease.  I know that in Louisiana horizontal wells are unitized to the entire section but in the old days vertical wells were a much smaller area (160 acres?).

Guess I flunked that math quiz - thanks for correcting this.

Skip or others may know about the Arkansas acreage allocation number.

Thanks, full name.  No matter how you calculate it, the future price of lithium will have to go up significantly.  That's a crystal ball projection so I won't go there.  I'm thinking that somewhere between a governmental section (640 acres) and two (1280 acres) would work with what we know so far.  The wells will be incredibly expensive due to well bore diameter and casing requirements.  Then owing to the same corrosion requirements, the supply pipelines will need to be fiberglass.  I have no way of knowing the challenges and requirements for that.  Those supply pipelines I suspect are one way flows to the DLE facility with another shorter pipeline system connection to the injection wells.  I'm thinking that the 200,000 acres that Exxon holds will be reduced to numerous stand alone production sites with a central facility for further purification and shipping of lithium carbonate or hydroxide to end users

Great.  Thanks for the information. Maybe a revenue stream for the grand-kids.

Oil, Gas and Lithium Report: Miller County gets its first lithium well 

A drilling permit for Miller County’s first lithium exploration well was issued last week by the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission.

Saltwerx LLC of Spring, TX, an ExxonMobil subsidiary, is the operator and Nabors is the contractor for the Alba No. 1, 987 feet FSL and 382 feet FWL in Section 3-17S-26W in a wildcat location in Miller County. Permit depth is to 10,200 feet in the Smackover Zone. No starting date was listed.

Saltwerx also amended the final location and depth of its Gabriella No. 1 wildcat well in Lafayette County that has already been drilled. The surface hole location is 1,066 feet FNL and 2,310 feet FWL, and the proposed bottom hole location is 2,149 feet FSL and 2,600 feet FEL in Section 12-18S-24W. The true vertical depth is to 11,000 feet, with a measured depth of 11,287.97 feet.


Tetra Technologies outlines bromine-lithium plant plans for Lewisville audience

Mike McNeill, publisher and editor Apr 27, 2024 Updated 4 hrs ago

Emphasis added is my own.  This confirms Tetra's intention to drill horizontal wells and use fiberglass pipelines. Also this is the first mention of H2S that I recall.

LEWISVILLE – Tetra Technologies leaders said Thursday, April 25, 2024 that construction will start this summer on a bromine and lithium plant in Lafayette County.

Elijio Serrano, Tetra’s chief financial officer; Tim Moeller, senior vice president for Global Supply Chain-Chemicals; and Alicia Boston, general counsel for the company based in The Woodlands, TX, spoke for about an hour during a “community town hall” at the Lafayette County Courthouse.

They outlined Tetra’s history with mineral leases in Columbia and Lafayette counties, the company’s requirements for an independent source of bromine, and plans for lithium production in cooperation with ExxonMobil.

“Tetra is not the largest company in the world but we’re also not a start-up,” Serrano said. “We’ve been in business as a publicly-traded company for 48 years. We operate across the globe, and we’ve got significant presence in the United States. We have over 1,500 employees.”

Tetra Technologies’ primary business is oil completion fluids. These are fluids that are pumped down into oil and gas wells to prevent the immense pressure underground from blowing out the wells. Bromine is an essential component of completion fluids.

At present, Tetra Technologies receives its bromine from the Lanxess facility in El Dorado. The bromine is shipped to Tetra’s own plant in West Memphis, where it is used to make completion fluids.

“Longer term, there is a need for more bromine that we can obtain from our current suppliers,” Serrano said.

In 1988, Tetra Technologies bought thousands of acres in South Arkansas brine leases from Dow Chemical. This happened at the same time when Dow sold the rest of its Columbia County bromine operation to what was then Ethyl Corporation. In 1994, Ethyl spun off its bromine interests to create Albemarle Corporation.

Tetra held onto its undeveloped brine leases – now some 40,000 total acres -- with an eye toward future needs.


“We have reached an inflection point in our company’s history. The volumes of bromine that we need for the oil and gas segment, and other opportunities, we don’t have access to. So we made the decision here that we’re going to start turning brine into bromine,” Serrano said.

Tetra Technologies also needs bromine to supply the needs of the long-term battery storage industry.

In 2021, Eos Energy and Tetra said that Tetra’s patented zinc bromine solution is key to Eos’ Znyth aqueous zinc battery. The long-duration Eos battery is popular at remote locations where energy needs to be stored because there’s no ready access to commercial or generator power.

Eos said in a 2022 statement that by aligning itself with Tetra’s anticipated bromine resources, it can improve its own domestic supply chain and support current U.S. initiatives for domestic manufacturing of clean energy solutions.

“And oh, by the way, where we get the bromine out, there’s also lithium,” Serrano said.

Tetra Technologies also uses bromine to make calcium chloride and water-treatment products.

“We’ve teamed up with ExxonMobil to help us develop the lithium opportunity in the Smackover Formation. Tetra and Exxon are going to work together in what we call our Evergreen Unit. We will be able to expand our bromine capacity and also to be in the lithium market of the United States,” he said.

Tetra’s Evergreen Unit is 6,138 acres of brine leases in Columbia and Lafayette counties, mostly along and west of Dorcheat Bayou. Tetra has received permission from the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission to produce brine from the leases, said Moeller, Tetra’s head of Global Supply Chain-Chemicals.


Other companies, including ExxonMobil, Standard Lithium, Albemarle and Australian-based Pantera Minerals, also hold thousands of acres in brine leases in the two counties. ExxonMobil made headlines last year when it announced its $100 million purchase from Galvanic Energy of 120,000 leased brine acres in Columbia and Lafayette counties.

Since then, Albemarle has announced plans to construct a pilot plant for lithium, separate and apart from a half-billion-dollar project to expand its Columbia County bromine facilities. Standard Lithium bought a 112-acre site six miles south of Lewisville for a lithium production facility. ExxonMobil contractors are busy drilling lithium exploration wells in the two counties. The company said last November that it will build a lithium plant in the area by 2027, and produce enough lithium to power 1 million electric vehicles by 2030.


“We intend to produce brine out of these 6,138 acres. We have a memorandum of understanding and are partnering with ExxonMobil. They have some acreage. We have some acreage. Put it all together, and we call it the Evergreen Unit, Moeller said.

Tetra and Standard Lithium have an agreement that allows Standard Lithium to extract lithium from Tetra’s brine leases outside the Evergreen Unit, he said.

Tetra will build a bromine-lithium plant on 60 acres of a 127-acre site it has acquired on the northwest corner of Lafayette County roads 21 and 81 about six miles south of Stamps. The site was Tetra’s third choice after two earlier proposals were nixed by potential problems with wetlands. It is about a mile north of the northern boundary of the Evergreen Unit.

The company has previously estimated the construction cost at about $500 million.

Moeller anticipates that the actual number of well pads will be small. Horizonal drilling technology will allow for one well pad to extract brine from many locations within the unit. A system of pipelines that will mostly be located along existing roadways will deliver the brine to the plant.

More than 100 people have been engaged in engineering the plant for more than a year, he said. They won’t have to start from scratch. Tetra continues to own some bromine production equipment at the former Dow plant – now the Albemarle West Plant. This includes a bromine production tower.

“Tuesday, we pulled that bromine tower out of the West Plant and we are sending it out to have some modifications made. We’re already starting to work on major equipment. It’s going to take a while for the retrofits,” Moeller said.

Workers will start clearing the site this summer. They will leave a wooded, 100-foot perimeter around the 60 acres.

Boston, the company’s general counsel, said Tetra Technologies will do what it can to engage the local community and service vendors in its operation.

The company restructured its website this week. CLICK HERE to see it.

The revised website includes a new section called “Lithium Ventures.” It includes a subsection where local vendors can sign up to offer their goods and services to Tetra. CLICK HERE to see it.

“We are looking at ways to create job opportunities and employment opportunities in the community. We’re looking at ways to get involved in the high school level, the community college level, to create long-term career plans to bring about generational job opportunities so that people will stay in the local area,” Boston said.

Tetra will offer a competitive salary package and is drawing up plans for internships and scholarships.

Serrano said that once construction starts on the bromine plant, it will take about 24 months to complete. He expects bromine production to commence in the spring of 2026. Construction of the lithium plant will start later.

The number of construction contractors will vary. Initial full-time employment will be 60-80 people.


Members of the public asked several questions. Here’s a brief summary of some of the answers:

Tetra expects to ship in construction equipment by rail and truck, and ship out bromine by truck. Moeller doesn’t expect a lot of bromine truck traffic, perhaps four trucks per day. No rail line will be built to the plant.

The plant will need a lot of water for its processes. Moeller didn’t say how much water will be needed. The company is looking at several potential sources, including wastewater from municipal systems. No matter the source, Moeller promised that water will be treated before it leaves the plant and will probably be cleaner going out than it was coming in.

Moeller said Lafayette County can expect significant upgrades to its power grid because of the plant’s electrical requirements. Tetra is already working with the area’s electric supplier, Texarkana-based Southwest Arkansas Electric, for transformers, insulators, breakers, poles and other equipment. Some of the electrical equipment requires a manufacturing lead time of 12-24 months.

Concern was expressed about water quality and the impact of drilling, and the release of bromine and other chemicals into the atmosphere. “Bromine plants of today are not necessarily what bromine plants were decades ago. We have lots of oversight. We’ve been operating our West Memphis plant with bromine for 45 years, and we have a spectacular record of being able to manage it,” Moeller said.

Serrano said that Tetra’s brine wells will be in excess of 9,000 feet deep. This is thousands of feet below water sources used by municipal water systems and home water wells. Once the bromine and lithium are extracted, the brine will be re-injected to maintain pressure within the Smackover Formation.

Well sites can be sources of hydrogen sulfide gas, often referred to by its chemical formula of H2S. Moeller said H2S will be extracted at the well sites. “We understand what needs to be done, and we’ve engineered solutions so that we do it properly,” he said.

It is possible that some oil will be recovered during brine recovery. Moeller said Tetra has seen little to no oil during its testing. Any oil that is recovered will be set aside, and lease owners will be compensated for it.

Moeller said the well sites and the fiberglass pipelines will be closely monitored through telemetry and human inspection. Moeller said it is typical for human inspectors to drive hundreds of miles daily to monitor lines and equipment. In the case of the Evergreen Unit, only a few miles of pipeline will be involved which means it can be closely watched.

Lafayette County Judge Valarie Clark welcomed the audience and introduced several guests. The courthouse meeting was preceded by a “meet-and-greet” between the Tetra Technologies officials and community members.

There was a large contingent of Magnolia city and Columbia County officials present, including Magnolia Mayor Parnell Vann and County Judge Doug Fields, with State Sen. Steve Crowell (R-Magnolia) and Wade Andrews (R-Camden).

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