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.

https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/11004817901?pro...

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Thanks for posting this.

Based on recent permits, it also appears that there are activities in Hopkins County - on trend and probably Smackover.

Top lithium producer cuts 2030 demand forecast on slower EV adoption - FT

Feb. 18, 2024  Albemarle Corporation (ALB) Stock  By: Joshua Fineman, SA News

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB), the world's biggest lithium producer, reduced its 2030 demand forecast for the crucial battery ingredient as the shift to electric vehicles in the U.S. and Europe is moving slower than expected.

Albemarle (ALB) forecast 3.3 million tonnes of lithium carbon equivalent to be needed globally by 2030, a 10% cut from its previous forecast of 3.7 million tonnes, according to a Financial Times report on Friday, which cited an interview with Eric Norris, Albemarle’s president of lithium.

Norris told the FT the lithium producer is cutting its forecast as car manufacturers are delaying the launch of electric vehicle models in Western markets.

“Some models have been delayed, largely out of North America, which is pushing out the length of time of penetration [of EVs] in the US,” said Norris, adding that “potentially in parts of Europe” the shift is also expected to take longer.

Norris' comments come as lithium prices that have plunged 80% since the start of last year are "unsustainable" and must rise in order to trigger the supply investments needed to meet long-term demand growth, Albemarle (ALB) CEO Kent Masters said Thursday.

"We think prices today are unsustainable," Masters said on the company's post-earnings conference call, adding that lithium projects in the West are especially at risk at current prices. "Incentivizing producers to meet this demand requires long-term pricing at or above investment economics."

Projections like this will have some lithium groups quaking in their boots. 

But not surprised at seeing lower demand forecast

Pantera Minerals announces stake in south Arkansas lithium

Monday, Fed. 19, 2024     by Joshua Turner  El Darado News-Times

Australian company Pantera Minerals is coming to Columbia County to establish mineral wells, according to Barnaby Egerton-Warburton, chairman at Pantera and Arizona Lithium Limited and partner at Modena Ventures.

"In Arkansas, we have two guys on the ground permanently -- Cleve Thomas and John Bishop who manage our land," said Egerton-Warburton.

He said that the company has many people who are experienced in oil and gas, lithium and financial trading.

"When we started to look at the Smackover Formation and the brines in the US, this is the place we decided to go," said Egerton-Warburton.

He said that they have been studying brine extraction in Phoenix, Arizona and Canada, where they have plants operating already.

"We've had a lot of experience. We're surrounded by a lot of expertise. Smackover is interesting because of the great jurisdictional benefits of being in Arkansas," said Egerton-Warburton.

He said that they began leasing land and mineral rights for lithium extraction in January 2023 and since then have secured 50 thousand acres of brine rights in Lafayette County near Bradley.

Columbia and Lafayette County will see a boost in the local economies as lithium companies begin to work and extract lithium said Egerton-Warburton.

"The oil and gas industry in Arkansas is on the decline. Jobs are moving away from here and you see it as you go through towns like Smackover and even Magnolia. These were oil boom towns and now they are desperately searching for other industries to replace the oil gas industry. If you substitute jobs, which is what this will do, then it's a positive," he said.

Egerton-Warburton said that Pantera Minerals aims to hire from the local area to help boost the local economy.

"We've got to find local civil companies and local workers as well. Economically, you're bringing capital into the state. Then at a production level, you're paying taxes and royalties to the state and a lot of that can then go back into the counties," he said.

Tim Goldsmith Pantera Minerals Strategic Advisor said, "Every dollar we bring in normally has like five more dollars worth of value, created in your region because you're engaging it. By using local service providers for everything that one dollar creates a whole lot more in time. It brings a whole lot of activity and generates opportunity."

Egerton-Warburton said that unlike the larger companies looking to extract lithium, Pantera Minerals is looking to build multiple small extraction facilities which will have 30 to 40 employees each and could allow more people to be employed as the need for delivery vehicles, contractors, consultants and other workers increases.

"We're kind of small in terms of these other companies, but we're very nimble. We have two guys on the ground grinding it out leasing. At some stage we're going to get a third person and then a fourth person and a fifth person and we'll build," he said.

Egerton-Warburton said that despite the company's size they are already looking at how they can contribute to the communities they are working with.

They are talking with members of the Bradley community to learn what is needed to increase access to food, shelter and human rights so that they grow with the community he said.

The company is hoping to have its first processing facility ready within two years said Egerton-Warburton.

"The part of Australia where from which is a very entrepreneurial and innovative area which works with mining all around the world. We only survive because we understand that thing will only work well by working with the local community. What we do has to help create value in the location, not just for today. We would like communities to know that we aim to be a force for their good. We don't succeed and unless we have a strong community support us all the way through and we don't want to do this unless we have a strong point to support them," he said.

Egerton-Warburton said that while the lithium boom will help everyone in the area, the people who put in the work will see the most benefits and that they hope that it the small towns that benefited from the oil and gas boom can return to prosperity.

Lithium discovery potentially big enough to power 50M EVs fuels Louisiana land interest

BY LIZ SWAINE | Staff writer  shreveportbossieradvocate.com

"This is going to be just like the Haynesville Shale," Shreveport-based mineral consultant Skip Peel said. "It's freaky that it's so similar." Peel has been getting a lot of calls from land and mineral owners in Cass, Morris, Titus, Franklin and other east Texas counties. The big question is what the discovery of the lithium that is spurring the rush will mean to the land and mineral owners in Arkansas, Texas, and possibly, north Louisiana.

"The Haynesville Shale land rush is occurring all over again," Peel said, "but now the target is brine found in the Smackover Formation that contains lithium. This is a land rush that kind of flies under the radar because we're far, far, off from actually processing any of this brine to get the lithium out." The lag in getting processing plants up and running hasn't stopped companies that produce lithium, and lithium speculators who simply want to flip their lease holdings for a quick profit.

The Smackover Formation is a historic Louisiana oil discovery that has played a major role in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas oil production since the 1920s. The geologic formation is huge, taking in part of all three states and portions of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

In the 1950s, the saltwater and mineral-laden brine produced in Smackover drilling was found to contain bromine, a chemical needed in a variety of uses from agricultural chemicals to pharmaceuticals.

Recently, lithium has been discovered in the brine. Lithium is chemical element crucial in the production of smartphones and electric vehicles and is the chemical the world is now chasing.

"Lithium projects are going on in south America, Canada, all over the world. Everybody is chasing lithium," Peel said. "Many of those (projects) are the old form of mining, hard rock mining or they are these evaporative surface ponds. All of those have big environmental problems. Smackover brine has fewer."

Smackover has attracted the interest of companies such as ExxonMobil, Albemarle, Lanxess and Standard Lithium. All are interested in the lithium present in the brine water that is measured in parts per million.

"Right now is the rush to find the 'sweet spots' where the lithium concentration is the greatest and there's enough water in the formation to support the kind of volumes that you need," Peel said. "South Arkansas has been around 300 ppm, but Standard Lithium in Cass County found concentrations that were like 680 ppm. This is still a game of where do you want to spend your money to get leases? You hope you can get some data to help you with that, but just like the Haynesville Shale, companies are leasing in places blind where there is no data."

How big is the lithium find? Some published industry reports say that the Smackover may contain enough lithium to power 50 million electric vehicles.

There are environmental questions as well as those dealing with how royalties will be paid, how much they will be and whether lithium is present in the Louisiana portion of the Smackover.  "We haven't heard anything about Louisiana," Peel said, "but there could be companies out there testing older wells. I look at well permits every day, so I think if there were any new wells drilled to test Louisiana Smackover for lithium concentration I'd notice. It just hasn't happened yet. That doesn't mean that it won't."

It also doesn't mean Louisiana mineral owners and landowners aren't getting calls. Peel said it is common for companies to "go in on the QT and try to lease up all the large landowners." His advice for land and mineral owners is to be informed by following sites like GoHaynesvilleShale.com and not be in too big a hurry to lease.

Even those who already have Haynesville Shale-related leases should be in the lithium game, Peel said. "Most oil and gas leases don't have language in them that would cover this produced water (brine)" he said, which means those owners could sign an additional lease for brine. He admits, though, that almost everything is up in the air.  

"Everyone is looking for answers," he said, "that are not quite there yet."

New to the group, so I'm just jumping on board here.

After taking screen shots of the article behind the Paywall I was able to read most of it.  Interesting article!  I was really interested in the use of new DLE technology in NE Texas and the Smackover area.  I noticed they had a section on John Burba of International Battery Metals and his MDLE unit.  Have any of you all heard from them or about them?  It looks like they had a city meeting and they referenced Atlanta, Texas. 

I read earlier on the board someone had brought them up and using a small footprint on location, along with modular/mobility.  This article came out about them moving their MDLE unit to a location in the western US back in January to begin extraction in 6 months:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/international-battery-meta...  

There was also this article on Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/international-battery-m...

I assume they will start producing more of the MDLE units for lease as the year progresses.  Any thoughts on them extracting lithium in 6 months or has anyone heard from them?  This is their website: www.ibatterymetals.com  They appear to be further advanced than some of the other DLE companies and more inline with O&G in the Smackover region.

Thank you,

Sam Goodman

Welcome, Sam.  Yes, Joe Lovelace brought Dr. Burba to our attention fairly early in our discussion.  Note that this thread is approaching a year old.  The major lithium players at this point have not mentioned Mobil Direct Lithium Extraction (MDLE).  It appears that their business plans rely on central processing facilities and pipeline connections to brine wells.  That would seem to be the right design for high capacity extraction projects.  That being said, much is unknown about the best locations for Li concentrations and minimum brine flows.  The best area(s) for concentrations may not be the best for volume of flow.  In that scenario, MDLE may have a part to play.  Pipelines will be expensive to build and maintain especially considering the highly caustic nature of SMK brine.  Much is still unclear as to the basics of how this will all work.  A number of us are doing our best to track down relevant data.  Come along for the ride, it should be interesting.

Thanks Skip.

I also came across IBAT's corporate presentation which came out at the end of January:  

https://www.ibatterymetals.com/hubfs/IBAT_Corporate-Update_1-30-24....

What I found interesting about the Corporate Presentation was their Generation 2 unit on page 14.  Brine capacity rises by a factor of 10x to 70,000bpd, with similar construction and deployment timeline of their first generation unit.

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