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.

GoHaynesvilleShale.com 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 GoHaynesvilleShale.com and encouraging them to participate in site discussions.  And since GoHaynesvilleShale.com is free for all to use, please consider a donation to help keep the website online.

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Discovery of lithium, other chemicals could mean ‘economic boon’ for Shreveport area

Link to full article:

https://www.shreveportbossieradvocate.com/business/north-louisiana-...

"There's something new every week or so," Shreveport-based mineral consultant Skip Peel said. He is referring to the discovery of the chemical lithium in oil field brine water in south Arkansas, northeast Texas and possibly north Louisiana.

Lithium is the element crucial in the production of batteries in smartphones and electric vehicles and is the chemical the world is now chasing. At least one published industry report says that the Smackover Formation that extends into north Louisiana, the geological formation in which lithium has been discovered, may contain enough of the chemical to power 50 million EVs.

"There's a lot of speculators, a lot of investors out there," Peel said. "This is a huge deal with so many question marks at this time. We don't know where we'll end up. I just want the land and mineral owners to get a fair shake." Some of the questions to be answered deal with how lithium royalties in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana will be determined, and what they will be.

Arkansas may take a step forward at the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission hearing in El Dorado, Ark. on April 23. In Docket #083-2023-10 the Lanxess Corp. and Standard Lithium are asking the commission to set a lithium royalty rate for one existing brine unit in the state. 

There is a distinct possibility that Arkansas may not decide that day, says Daniel Pilkington, an attorney with the oil and gas commission. "The matter was originally set for December, but the operator didn't provide enough information to make a decision," he told The Shreveport-Bossier City Advocate. Without the needed information, the commission may withhold a decision again.

Peel said when Arkansas' oil and gas commission does make a ruling, he expects that it will handle the royalties for lithium in the same way they handle bromine, another chemical found in the brine. With bromine, the commission sets the royalty rate.

Peel says the land and mineral owners in Texas he works with are hoping for a different royalty structure, one in which they will be able to play a role in the negotiations. "Everybody in Texas wants a lease that's more like an oil and gas lease; the ability to negotiate, not be stuck with the state telling you 'Here is the price for something,'" Peel said.

In Louisiana, state Sen. Stewart Cathey, R-Monroe, has filed Senate Bill 285. Cathey is seeking to give authority to the Office of Conservation to establish units (a particular set of acres) for brine production, and to add brine to the substances currently regulated by the state's mineral code.

At present, there has been no evidence that lithium has been found in the north Louisiana portion of the Smackover Formation, but lithium or no, there is something else that could add to the overall confusion. The Lithos Group, a Canadian company involved in lithium production, says there is the possibility other valuable chemicals and minerals are present in the brine, such as: rubidium, cesium, gallium, and platinum group metals, all of which are used in the computer, transportation, and energy industries. Those chemicals are in addition to sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium already known to be present in oil field brine.

"There's still so much that's so much that's unknown if you're a landowner hoping to get a lease," Peel said, "and there's a lot to negotiate other than what comes up out of the ground."

He says brine wells will need to be larger and the substance is very caustic, extremely hard on steel pipes, casings, and fittings. Spills can also create significant environmental damage. "It can keep a piece of property from being worth anything for decades," Peel warned.

"I'm also passing on to the attorneys I work with how to word clauses to defend landowners in court. You don't want to jump the gun too quickly and you want to protect yourself."

Whether lithium or other materials are found in local brine, Peel believes the lithium already discovered in Arkansas and Texas could be an economic boon to north Louisiana. He suspects, at the least, more flights at Shreveport Regional Airport, more work for experienced oil and gas workers, and possibly more local manufacturing opportunities for the different infrastructure needed for lithium extraction.  "The economic impact could be felt widely," Peel said. 

Good article! Thanks!

You're welcome, CW.  I've spent the entire day reading through the transcript from the Arkansas O&G Commission hearing on royalty.  This is Standard Lithium making the same arguments they will use in Texas when the time comes.  Arkansas mineral owners are fortunate that there is a mineral association arguing against Standard Lithium and they are supported by Weyerhaeuser Corporation which has a large mineral interest in the SW AR counties.  I will share some of my notes when I get caught up.

I read the transcript from the Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission hearing on lithium royalty (161 pages). Here are some excerpts from my notes.

Standard Lithium's demonstration plant uses the brine from the Lanxess plant after it has been stripped of bromine. Therefore Standard Lithium has no supply wells, re-injection wells and very little pipeline infrastructure.

One barrel of SMK brine at the Lanxess/Standard Lithium locations (42 gallons) contains 20# of sodium, 11# of calcium, 2# of bromine and 1 oz. of lithium. The brine also contains magnesium and potassium.

Standard Lithium projects that a stand alone production facility would cost $365M and have a useful lifespan of about 25 years.  It was not clear if this estimate includes associated infrastructure such as pipelines.  The concentration of lithium from the supply wells declines over time.  The brine, stripped of lithium and other valuable components, is re-injected into the SMK to maintain formation pressures.  A supply well will cost about $5M to drill and complete.

DLE uses a resin-based filtration system. SMK brine is 10X saltier than sea water. Pipelines for the brine will be fiberglass.

Standard Lithium Installs Commercial DLE Column at Demonstration Plant

PRESS RELEASE GlobeNewswire  Mar. 13, 2024

 Emphasis added is my own.

 Link to full article with photos:  https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/standard-lithium-in...

EL DORADO, Ark., March 13, 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 installed a commercial-scale Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE”) column at its Demonstration Plant near El Dorado, Arkansas. The column is a LiPRO™ Lithium Selective Sorption (“LSS”) unit, supplied by Koch Technology Solutions, LLC (“KTS”).

The column has been installed and integrated with the Company’s existing Demonstration Plant to test and derisk the design for commercial applications of the LiPRO™ LSS technology. It is the same size and design as those that the Company intends to use (in multiple trains) in its commercial applications for the Phase 1A and South West Arkansas projects (as described in the Company’s recent Definitive Feasibility Study for the Phase 1A project and Preliminary Feasibility Study for the South West Arkansas project).

The commercial-scale LiPRO™ LSS column is currently being filled with Koch Engineered Solutions proprietary lithium-selective sorption with commissioning expected later this month. Extensive performance testing of the commercial-scale DLE technology will be performed over the following months under the supervision of Standard Lithium and KTS technical specialists.

Standard Lithium’s Director, President & COO, Dr. Andy Robinson commented, “this is an important derisking milestone for Standard Lithium and our partners. Our team has been successfully running the LiPRO™ LSS technology since October 2022, and we have already successfully completed scale-ups of the DLE equipment at the Demonstration Plant; this is our final stage of derisking the technology. The data gathered from this commercial-scale unit will provide crucial validation and derisking information for our ongoing project finance processes, as well as FEED and DFS studies for the South West Arkansas Project (see news release dated 24 January 2024). We’re very grateful for our partners Koch Technology Solutions and LANXESS who have helped to make this final derisking step possible.”

Standard Lithium's Demonstration Plant is the only large-scale, continuously operating DLE plant in North America. Initially commissioned in May 2020, the Plant has processed over 16.4 million gallons (62 million litres) of Smackover brine.

“The long-term operation of our Demo Plant has been crucial in replicating and understanding the real-world dynamic conditions of continuous commercial-scale operations,” said Dr. Robinson. “With our partner Koch Technology Solutions, we have been able to tailor and optimise the multi-step flowsheet that will allow the Plant to be scaled for commercial production. The knowledge we have on-hand from over four years of operations, combined with an optimised flowsheet and now a commercial-scale DLE column, puts us in a strong position as we continue to advance our projects.”

Recent technical highlights of the Demo Plant and the existing LiPRO™ LSS (DLE) column are provided below.

Key Findings:

  • Lithium Recovery Efficiency: As a recent weekly snapshot demonstrates (early March 2024), the LiPRO™ LSS (DLE) process achieved an average weekly lithium recovery of 95.9% from the continuous incoming brine flow.
  • Element Rejection Rate: During the same period, the DLE process rejected, on average, over 99.3% of the key contaminants sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium from the brine (i.e. less than 0.7% of those contaminants made it through the DLE into the first lithium chloride solution); and over 94.2% of boron was rejected.
  • Operational Cycles: The LiPRO™ LSS (DLE) process has completed over 8,585 operational cycles.
  • The LiPRO™ LSS column has been operating with negligible degradation or loss of the sorbent media, and brine pre-treatment has been optimized to allow for foulant-free operation of the DLE step.
  • Brine Processed: As of the end of December 2023 (per Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission reporting), the Demo Plant had processed 16,418,408 gallons (62,143,674 litres) of Smackover brine, produced directly from the formation and reinjected continuously back into the same formation.

Dr. Robinson added: “One of the fundamental findings of the Demonstration Plant is the necessity of long-duration, on-site continuous processing of real brine. Our Demo Plant handles real Smackover brine directly from the resource, whereas in traditional small-scale, short-term off-site batch processes, brine is isolated, transported and often undergoes physical and chemical changes before testing. With the commercial-scale LSS column, we can continuously test real brine from the Smackover at a commercial level.”

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 began 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 www.standardlithium.com.

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.

Twitter: @standardlithium
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/standard-lithium/

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release may contain certain “Forward-Looking Statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used in this news release, the words “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “target, “plan”, “forecast”, “may”, “schedule” and other similar words or expressions identify forward-looking statements or information. These forward-looking statements or information may relate to intended development timelines, future prices of commodities, accuracy of mineral or resource exploration activity, reserves or resources, regulatory or government requirements or approvals, the reliability of third party information, continued access to mineral properties or infrastructure, fluctuations in the market for lithium and its derivatives, changes in exploration costs and government regulation in Canada and the United States, and other factors or information. Such statements represent the Company’s current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social risks, contingencies and uncertainties. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements or information to reflect changes in assumptions or changes in circumstances or any other events affecting such statements and information other than as required by applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Has anyone developed a Map of where most of this Lithium lies or where leasing is taking place?  

I haven't heard anything more after the initial request for possibly leasing some of our holding along the Texas/Arkansas border in San Augustine County several months ago. 

Thanks, Bill R.  I have one but I've been waiting to publish it.  We need more feedback from members and more "on the ground" eyes.   I'd like to see more interest from members.  Any none members can weigh in by joining the website.

Brine Lessor Beware!

Although DLE is possibly the safest, most environmentally friendly means to source lithium, the risks are not zero.  You need good lease language to protect your rights and your property.

Lithium well experienced a ‘blowout’ in Green River

Water spurted from well tower on Friday; unclear if it reached the river.

 By Sophia Fisher | The Times-Independent    | March 13, 2024  sltrib.com

A lithium well just outside Green River spurted substantial amounts of water on the afternoon of March 8, according to several eyewitness accounts.

It is unclear whether or not the water pouring from the well’s infrastructure breached the Green River less than a half mile from the operation, or whether it was in any way contaminated.

“You could see that there was water gushing out of the [tower] base, maybe six or 10 feet off the ground,” said Green River resident Kenny Fallon Jr., who drove to the site Friday.

“It didn’t seem very controlled,” he said.

Anson Resources, the parent company of well operator Blackstone Minerals, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

A spokesperson for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Ashley Sumner, said the same day that her office is looking into the incident but doesn’t “have any information to share at this time.”

Several Green River residents reported water flowing from the well tower at Blackstone Minerals’ lithium operation, which lies less than half a mile east of the Green River, a major tributary of the Colorado River, and just north of Interstate 70.

Fallon Jr. said he didn’t see any evidence the water had breached Brown’s Wash, an adjacent streambed that leads to the Green River.

He did see some water flowing in the wash upstream of the well operation, as well as water bubbling out of the ground downstream.

“This was definitely pressurized water that was coming up,” Fallon Jr. said.

Christine Sheeter, another Green River resident, said she observed “large puddles of water” around the well site.

“There were bulldozers that were moving soil to manage the water flow,” Sheeter said, seemingly to divert it away from the wash. Still, she said the water breached what appeared to be settling ponds.

“Whatever amount of water first came out must’ve been a lot because it came through this dike,” she said.

Returning Saturday, Sheeter said she saw trucks removing the water.

She said that on Friday she spoke with an anonymous employee who said the operation hit a carbon dioxide bubble or layer that caused a “blowout.”

Fallon Jr. said he spoke with another employee who guessed they had hit river water because the drill operation was still shallow.

“If they’d gotten to brine, the water would be red,” Fallon Jr. recalled the employee saying.

Per Blackstone Minerals’ draft injection permit with the Utah Division of Water Quality, the company is drilling thousands of feet below the Earth’s surface into a layer of brine, which is then pumped aboveground so lithium can be extracted through a novel, largely untested process called direct lithium extraction.

After that processing, the brine is reinjected 6,000 feet underground — the subject of the permit.

Blackstone is a subsidiary of Anson Resources, the Australian company pursuing lithium and uranium extraction around both Green River and Moab.

The Great Basin Water Network and Living Rivers-Colorado Riverkeeper, two environmental nonprofits, released a statement panning the blowout, saying it “affirms doubts about the company’s ability to tap deep lithium brines.”

“There are so many red flags that are flagrantly waving with this project,” said Kyle Roerink, the executive director of the water network organization. “This foreign company cannot be trusted to steward the Green River and the Colorado River.”

Soon after the “blowout,” Blackstone announced an open house at 6 p.m. March 13. The evening of March 12, it was changed to a presentation and question-and-answer session at the same time at Green River City Hall.

This map is a snapshot and should not be taken as definitive for E TX counties where lease offers are currently being made for SMK brine production.  Unconfirmed reports include Hopkins County although the map does not include it.  Also it is likely that only some portion of a county will be a "sweet spot" while others are not.  This is a conventional reservoir play so porosity and permeability are key.  I'm tracking test wells but that is an inexact means of determining the sweet spots as the test results will be proprietary and not made public.  Only when "supply wells" are confirmed will we get an idea of where companies think the best combination of Lithium (Li) concentration and brine volume are located. 

SMK%20Lithium%20E%20TX%20Counties.pdf

Thanks Skip

You're welcome, Bill R.  I hope to have enough information in the near future to update the list of counties and maybe a map.  I hope this helps.  We are in need of more input from members in order to keep up with this fast moving lease play.

Must've been another county because your description would not be San Augustine.

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