Excerpt:  "Standard Lithium Ltd. (“Standard Lithium” or the “Company”) (TSXV: SLI) (NYSE American: SLI) (FRA: S5L), a leading near-commercial lithium company, is pleased to announce that, as part of its significant resource expansion work in the East Texas Smackover region, it has sampled, to the best of its knowledge, the highest confirmed lithium grade brine in North America, with a grade of 634 mg/L lithium. In Standard Lithium’s experience, the grade of lithium in brine used for Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) has a meaningful impact on both capital expenditures and operating costs in connection with the extraction process, with a higher grade typically resulting in lower overall costs.


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Ugh, thanks.  Typical Enverus article that doesn't give the specifics of lithium concentrations in Permian brine.  All produced water has salts and thus can be termed a brine.  The question is the concentration level of lithium in the brine.  The level is quite good in Cass County per the press release by Standard Lithium.

Lots of water zones in the Permian - and not all will work as to Lithium concentration threshold values.

My bet is the shallow zones tied to evaporitic stratigraphy are the best bets at finding viable targets.

If I were chasing lithium (and I am not), I would be quietly building a data base of produced water analyses across the USA to pin down areas of interest. I am sure the lithium players are already doing this (or should be).

Thank you Skip

Like I said, 'Dumb question'... however I am still learning about O&G and now we have Lithium.

I'll read the Article and play the waiting game some more. 

What we need more than anything is information from those who have already leased.  Standard Lithium appears to be bragging that they have already leased a good bit of acreage.  Knowing where and for how much would help those that may be offered a lease in the near future.

An interesting article in the New York Times May 16, 2023 

Can the World Make an Electric Car Battery Without China?


Will the demand for EV battery materials create a new OPEC?  Interesting article in New York Times here https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/21/business/economy/the-us-needs-mi...

Thanks, Joe.  I'm seeing more articles covering the future demand for critical minerals.  Some such as this one, speak to China's lead in "processing" rare earth minerals.  However, other articles focus on what countries have those minerals and in what relative abundance.  The difference here is that many of those countries have yet to build out the mines and processing capacity for serious export.  As demand rises, more countries will seek to export their minerals.  Yes, it is a concern how they go about that but that is for the most part beyond American influence.  The wild card here is that serious research efforts and investment dollars are flowing to battery technology that does not depend on those rare earth minerals.  At some point, if those efforts are successful, the demand for some rare earth minerals could drop.  This is an interesting topic that can impact our members in numerous and unpredictable ways.

Here's a look at a recent report that looks strictly at reserves.

1. China

Reserves: 44 million MT

Unsurprisingly, China has the highest reserves of rare earth minerals at 44 million MT. The country was also the world’s leading rare earths producer in 2022 by a long shot, putting out 210,000 MT.

Despite its top position, China remains focused on ensuring that its reserves remain elevated. Back in 2012, the Asian nation declared that its rare earths reserves were declining; it then announced in 2016 that it would raise domestic reserves by establishing both commercial and national stockpiles.

The last decade has also seen the country hone in on illicit rare earths mining, taking steps such as shutting illegal or environmentally non-compliant rare earths mines and limiting production and exports. China’s stern measures have cleaned up its supply chain significantly, although it continues to improve regulation and supervision.

China’s dominance in both rare earth elements production and reserves has caused problems in the past. Rare earths prices surged when the country cut exports in 2010, resulting in a rush to secure supply of the minerals elsewhere.

2. Vietnam

Reserves: 22 million MT

Vietnam’s rare earths reserves stand at 22 million MT. It reportedly hosts several deposits with concentrations against its northwestern border with China and along its eastern coastline. The majority of rare earths in the country can be found in primary ore deposits, with a smaller amount located in coastal placer deposits.

Vietnam’s rare earths production was minuscule in 2021 at 400 MT, but it went up significantly in 2022 to reach 4,300 MT. Vietnam is interested in building its clean energy capacity, and is working to produce more rare earths for that reason.

In December 2022, Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade signed an agreement with South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy to increase cooperation on rare earths and other core minerals, and help strengthen the global rare earths supply chain. Canada's Saskatchewan province has also been in talks with the country, sending a trade mission in December 2022 to look for opportunities to collaborate on "green energy, sustainable mining, and rare earths."

3. Brazil and Russia

Reserves: 21 million MT

Brazil and Russia are tied for third largest rare earths reserves globally. Brazil was not a major producer of rare earths in 2022, with production falling to a tiny 80 MT, even lower than its 2021 total of 500 MT. A rare earths deposit worth US$8.4 billion was found in 2012 in the country, although not much has come out of the discovery.

Russia produced 2,600 MT of rare earths in 2022, more than Brazil and Vietnam. The Russian government shared plans in 2020 to invest US$1.5 billion in order to compete with China in the rare earths market. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused some concern over possible disruptions to the rare earths supply chain in the US and Europe, and it remains to be seen how the war will affect its at-home rare earths development plans as well.

4. India

Reserves: 6.9 million MT

India’s rare earths reserves sit at 6.9 million MT, and it produced 2,900 MT of rare earths in 2022. India has nearly 35 percent of the world’s beach and sand mineral deposits, which are significant sources of rare earths. The country's Department of Atomic Energy released a statement in December 2022 breaking down the country's production and refining.

5. Australia

Reserves: 4.2 million MT

While Australia was the third largest rare earths-mining country in 2022 at 18,000 MT of production, it has the fifth largest reserves in the world. Currently, its reserves stand at 4.2 million MT.

Rare earths have only been mined in Australia since 2007, but extraction is expected to increase moving forward. Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC,OTC Pink:LYSCF) operates the Mount Weld mine and concentration plant in the country; it also runs a rare earths refining and processing facility in Malaysia. The company is considered the world’s largest non-Chinese rare earths supplier.

6. United States

Reserves: 2.3 million MT

While the US reported the second highest output of rare earths in 2022 at 43,000 MT, the country takes the sixth top spot in global rare earths reserves. Its reserves saw a big bump from 2021's total of 1.8 million MT.

Rare earths mining in the US now happens only at California’s Mountain Pass mine. In February 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at reviewing shortcomings in America’s domestic supply chains for rare earths, medical devices, computer chips and other critical resources. The next month, the US Department of Energy announced a US$30 million initiative to research and secure domestic supply chains for rare earths and battery metals such as cobalt and lithium. The government released a follow-up fact sheet about the progress made in these initiatives in February 2022.

7. Greenland

Reserves: 1.5 million MT

Although Greenland’s rare earths reserves number is close to that of the US, the island nation hasn’t made much of an effort to bring them into production. The country’s current government ran on a platform that included canceling Greenland's only (and highly controversial) rare earths-mining project, Energy Transition Minerals' (ASX:ETM,OTC Pink:GDLNF) Kvanefjeld. The government followed through with rejecting the project's exploitation license, and the company's request for interim orders against the decision was declined in September 2022.

This is an article from WSJ today that discusses Exxon's venture in the Arkansas Smackover and mentions Standard Lithium.Exxon%20Joins%20Hunt%20for%20Lithium%20in%20Bet%20on%20EV%20Boom%20...

Nice find Joe, thanks.  Where Exxon goes, others follow.  It looks like Galvanic Energy acquired these acres under leases that cover brine.  The company has a website and there is a map of the 120,000 acres along with the footprints of the other brine focused companies in that part of S AR.


Galvanic’s lithium prospect among most prolific in North America

Independent evaluation estimates 4 million tons LCE, testing shows up to 520 mg/L lithium

OKLAHOMA CITY, July 12, 2022 – A recently completed resource report has validated Galvanic Energy’s Smackover prospect as one of the largest lithium brine resources in North America, with sufficient lithium to produce enough batteries for 50 million electric vehicles.

Oklahoma-based Galvanic Energy is a geoscience-driven resource exploration company that employs innovative, proprietary discovery methods to identify natural resources essential to the US renewable energy sector. Over the past year the company has completed well testing and detailed reservoir modeling to significantly advance its 120,000-acre lithium prospect in southern Arkansas.

Certified third-party analyses of brine drawn from deep test wells penetrating the Smackover Formation within Galvanic Energy’s prospect yielded lithium concentrations ranging from 290 mg/L to 520 mg/L, some of the highest reported values in North American brines. Testing also revealed bromine concentrations of 3,700-6,000 mg/L.

An independent evaluation and technical report authored by APEX Geoscience Ltd. estimates the Galvanic Energy Smackover prospect to have an inferred resource estimate of 4 million tons lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and 10 million tons elemental bromine.

The lithium resource estimate is substantial given that the USGS currently estimates the US lithium reserve at 750,000 tons and a total inferred resource of 9.1 million tons, including “oilfield brines” such as the Smackover.

“The significance of 4 million tons domestic LCE is evident,” said Brent Wilson, Galvanic Energy president and chief executive officer. “This is enough lithium to power 50 million electric vehicles, or in other words, enough EVs to replace 1 in 6 registered automobiles in the United States.”

Strategically located in the south-central U.S. near newly built or planned EV and battery manufacturing plants, Galvanic Energy’s lithium prospect could greatly reduce America’s reliance on foreign supply chains. Additionally, the prospect can be developed using a low-environmental footprint ion extraction process.

“Given the regulatory and environmental challenges facing conventional mining operations, ESG responsibility is critical to moving American raw material resource production forward,” Wilson said.

To that end, Galvanic Energy has been evaluating multiple direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology providers to determine which of those processes is best suitable for developing this world-class lithium asset. Galvanic’s Smackover prospect will support a domestic supply chain for lithium batteries required in electric vehicles, portable electronics and power storage systems.

About Galvanic Energy

Galvanic Energy is a privately held exploration company targeting domestic resources to

advance America’s renewable energy strategy. Galvanic Energy focuses on resource plays that require low environmental footprints and utilize innovative extraction processes to provide vertical integration of green technologies toward the development of electric mobilization and energy storage. For more information, visit galvanicenergy.com.

There is a map of the Smackover Formation included but there needs to be a disclaimer.  The Haynesville Formation covers a similar area - but not all of it is "shale".  Some of it is "sand" (sandstone).  The Smackover outside of the original S AR footprint is now being tested for sufficient concentrations of lithium in the brine.  Development is unlikely to occur in areas where the concentration of lithium is not commercial.  Presently we have public information on Columbia and Union counties in S AR and Cass County in E TX.  Looks like the land rush is on to acquire mineral rights and to drill test wells to determine where those commercial concentrations exist.

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The Smackover Formation: Unveiling the Lithium Potential



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