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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This is helpful to my understanding and my patience.

As many of you know, who follow this website, Cass County (Texas) is very active for lithium leases.  This article highlights one of those companies. Liger%20Interests%20opens%20Atlanta%20office%20for%20lithium%20expl...

Thanks for the post Joe!  You wouldn't happen to have a list of those companies looking to or have signed lithium leases would you?  I'm trying to get an idea of who is out there and looking to sign.  Even private land owners.

Happy 4th of July!

Sam, I do not but the Cass County Clerk has a website that allows you to search recorded instruments.  Joe

Sam, if you choose to conduct an online, remote access search of Cass County public records, do the following.  Search by Grantee and use the name East Texas Natural Resources (ETNR).  ETNR is leasing for Standard Lithium.  There are likely other companies recording leases in Cass but at this point I don't have any other names.  Most remote public access services also have a search option for instrument filed by day sometimes call the day book.  You may be able to identify other companies offering leases by doing that search.  Suggest that you get a one month subscription and check daily or several times per week.  Leasing companies don't rush to record a single lease.  They wait until they have a number and then record them all in a day.  Therefore you may see nothing for a number of days and then a batch of leases recorded on the same day.

Lithium industry hits a major milestone for the clean-energy transi...

BY Reuters  07-11-2024

At a site in rural Utah controlled by privately-held US Magnesium, IBAT started producing this week commercial volumes of lithium at a rate of nearly 5,000 metric tons per year using its version of a direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology.

A portable and fully automated direct lithium extraction plant owned by International Battery Metals is seen in Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S., May 23, 2023. [Photo: Ernest Scheyder/File Photo]

In a milestone for the global clean-energy transition, International Battery Metals has become the first company to commercially produce lithium with a novel type of filtration technology, a step expected to usher in cheaper and faster supplies of the electric-vehicle battery metal.

At a site in rural Utah controlled by privately-held US Magnesium, IBAT started producing this week commercial volumes of lithium at a rate of nearly 5,000 metric tons per year using its version of a direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology.

The breakthrough has not been previously reported.

The company, which developed its DLE plant to be portable, has essentially beaten Standard Lithium, SLB, Rio Tinto, Eramet and others to be first to that mark. Industry investors, analysts and customers have waited years for commercial level output.

With DLE now proven on a commercial scale, it is expected to grow within a decade into an industry with $10 billion in annual revenue by transforming the speed and efficiency of lithium production for EV manufacturers and others, analysts said, much the way that fracking and horizontal drilling helped boost U.S. oil production.

IBAT’s method is based in part on technology developed by IBAT’s chairman, John Burba, at Dow Chemical in the 1980s. “This is all about boosting the global supply of lithium,” said Burba. “We feel like we’ve hit at a critical time for this industry.”

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that salty brine deposits across Europe, Asia, North America and elsewhere are filled with roughly 70% of the world’s reserves of the ultralight metal.

Lithium has historically been produced with evaporation ponds, which are used to extract the metal from those brines, or open-pit mines, which are used to remove it from hard rock deposits. The intensive water use and physical footprint of those methods, as well as their long development and production times, sparked the hunt for a third option.

While DLE technologies vary, they are comparable to common household water softeners and aim to extract about 90% or more of the lithium from brines, compared to about 50% using ponds.

Arcadium Lithium and some others use DLE processes in tandem with ponds, but no DLE technology had previously reached commercial production without them, sparking competition to expand output to the many parts of the world where occasional rainfall makes evaporation ponds impractical.

Many brine deposits have varied chemical compositions, meaning it is unlikely that any single DLE technology – including IBAT’s – will emerge as a global standard, analysts have said. Many Chinese deposits have high concentrations of magnesium, for example, and Bolivian deposits – among the largest in the world – have high potassium levels.

Lithium has repeatedly proven difficult to separate from those and other metals often co-mingled with it in brines. That has confounded many scientists working on DLE technologies for years. Lithium is also technically a salt, and can prove corrosive.

The breakthrough for IBAT coincides with a more than 80% drop in lithium prices in the past year, fuelling layoffs at industry leader Albemarle, DLE upstart Lake Resources and others. Still, IBAT plans to build more of its plants and market them for use across the globe.


IBAT said the company succeeded with hitting commercial-scale production partly due to its relatively small plants.

While rivals have tried for more than a decade to commercialize DLE, their plans involved production volumes of 20,000 tons per year or more at permanent facilities often in remote regions where labor and supplies are difficult to procure.

Houston-based IBAT designed and built a 450-foot-long (137 meter) portable plant in Louisiana that it moved in 13 parts to the US Magnesium site, which draws brine from the Great Salt Lake.

Additional plants can be added and stacked like Lego bricks to boost production in 5,000-ton-per-year increments. It takes 18 months to build an IBAT plant and reach production, the company said.

Each plant, which is smaller than three acres (1.2 hectares), is designed to move in the future to a new deposit for reuse, saving construction costs. IBAT’s plant costs $50 million to $60 million each, depending on several factors.

Paris-based Eramet spent nearly $900 million on its own DLE project that aims to come online this year in Argentina after more than a decade of development.

Ron Thayer, president of US Magnesium, said he chose IBAT’s process because of its portability as well as the type of adsorption material that IBAT’s process uses to filter lithium from brine, which Burba developed.

US Magnesium, which has started selling lithium produced with IBAT’s technology and paying IBAT a royalty, considered several rival processes including one from Breakthrough Energy Ventures-backed Lilac Solutions before settling on IBAT, he added.

“I consider (IBAT) a commercial lithium producer,” Thayer said

Exxon Mobil, which is developing a lithium project in Arkansas, has considered using IBAT’s technology, Reuters has reported.

IBAT’s facility aims to recycle more than 98% of the water it uses. Burba has repeatedly flagged the lithium industry’s high water use as a structural impediment to DLE commercialization.

That recyclability is key especially in Utah, where officials last year tightened regulations on water extraction from the Great Salt Lake that forced Compass Minerals to abandon its lithium plans.

—Ernest Scheyder, Reuters

I would love to know where in rural Utah this facility is located.

Most probably desolate and little to no culture.

Then the question of how have they "leased" the Lithium rights here?

Federal or state acreage? Or private landowners?

Definitely not an ArkLaTx analog as to surface condition / logistics (e.g. forests, homes, etc.)

F> tsiottureruw miaate and mek

Looks like water source for lithium extraction is tied to surface waters from Great Salt Lake - and not subsurface well control.

Perfect area for such an operation as to surface footprint - high desert and no culture / residents in the area.

The environmental impact links above don't paint a great picture of this company as to their historical "environmental awareness and compliance"

How would these actions play in the ArkLaTx??


US Magnesium has a unique operation, harvesting salts from the Great Salt Lake to produce primary magnesium metal, chlorine derivatives and lithium carbonate.

US Magnesium has the capacity to produce 63,500 metric tons per year of primary magnesium, 9,000 metric tons per year of lithium carbonate and a variety of chemical products at a facility 60 miles west of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.  The operation is expansive, spanning over 80,000 acres including 100 square miles of solar evaporation ponds that produce concentrated brine as feedstock for the manufacturing complex.  A series of feedstock holding reservoirs ensures the availability of raw materials for multiple years.  A nucleus of chemical processing units concentrates and purifies the feedstock for magnesium and subsequent lithium carbonate production.  An upgraded chlorine liquefaction plant and hydrochloric acid synthesis plant allows for the production of liquid chlorine and numerous derivative products. The facility supports both truck and rail access for global distribution of products.

US Magnesium delivers a full range of technical support and recycling services to its customers. Customers are supported with on-site training sessions, education seminars, process audits, material property data, calibration standards, laboratory analysis and design support.

It's my understanding US Magnesium has 50 years worth of "waste" piles containing lithium waiting for IBAT to process.  Probably why there are already plans to expand the IBAT unit to process larger amounts of lithium as the year progresses.

This should be a great example for ArkLaTx of what IBAT's systems can process and how they can be expanded, contracted, or moved as needed.  

Sam, can you post a link to the article that mentions "waste piles"?  Seems incongruous with IBAT's DLE designed for brines (fluids).  I'm unsure how to "pile" a fluid.

Unless they liquefy the piles and create a slurry for processing.


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