Bristol Dry Lake, California
With the signing of a recently amended Mineral Lease Agreement for the exploration of lithium with National Chloride Corporation of America, Standard Lithium’s Bristol Dry Lake project now encompasses approximately 35,000 acres of placer mineral claims and private land.
Because of Standard Lithium’s highly strategic landholding and partnership with existing brine producers, Standard is rapidly advancing the project, with near-term goal to produce the Maiden 43-101 compliant resource statement in the first half of 2018.
TETRA Technologies, National Chloride and others have mined the near-surface brines to produce concentrated chloride products for various industrial applications for close to 100 years, and as a result, the area has excellent mining infrastructure. There is electric power and water on the property, and a major paved road (Route 66) crosses the northern and western edges of the property. There is also a Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad adjacent to the site, with a purpose-built siding and loading spur-line. The property is situated approximately 200 km from Las Vegas, and 330 km east of the port of Los Angeles.
By securing agreements with both TETRA and National Chloride, experienced and established operators, Standard is working to reduce and/or eliminate much of the initial permitting requirements that most exploration companies face. These strategic relationships allow Standard Lithium immediate access to conduct exploration brine sampling, evaporation pond testing and lithium extraction processing activities, enabling a fast-tracked project development schedule.
Standard Lithium’s 35,000+ acre Bristol Dry Lake Brine Project strategically located in San Bernardino County, California.
The average annual net evaporation rate in the Mojave Desert is over 9 ft (2.85 m); Standard Lithium has installed a fully automated weather station to measure site-specific data, and has installed a series of lined evaporation ponds to determine how short-duration evaporation (1-4 weeks) could be used to pre-concentrate the brine to optimize it for use in modern process flowsheets.
Standard has already completed two phases of geophysical exploration studies; the first, a basin-wide gravity survey, was used to find the depth to bedrock, and the thickness of the basin sediments that host the lithium brines; the second was a CSAMT/MT survey that was used to look for highly conductive sub-surface regions that represent brine resources. Both phases of geophysical exploration have been highly encouraging; the gravity survey showed that the depth to bedrock was much greater than previously understood, and that a maximum depth of over 1,200 m (approximately 4,000 ft) was present beneath Standard’s claim area. What this also means is that the basin sediments that host the lithium brines are much thicker than previously believed, so the potential resource and number of drilling targets expanded based on this phase of work. The CSAMT survey showed that extremely conductive zones were present beneath the Standard project area; in fact, the resistivities were some of the lowest ever measured by Standard’s geophysical contractors, who have significant experience from working in many of the lithium brine salars in North and South America. These highly conductive zones represent concentrated brine saturated regions, and also represent excellent drill targets. Standard has conducted significant surface exploration in areas previously disturbed by brine harvesting activities and has demonstrated that lithium rich brines (typically 130-140 mg/L lithium) are present at depths of between 5-20 ft (1.5 to 6 m) below the playa surface. During Q4 2017 and into Q1 2018, Standard’s team of hydrogeologists and geologists will be supervising a reverse circulation (RC) drilling program across Standard’s project area. This program will be used to gather lithium brine and soil samples throughout a 3D block, as well as gathering data that can be used to determine the volume of effective pore spaces in the basin deposits, in addition to key hydrogeological parameters.
The data gathered from the drilling program will be used to develop the maiden Inferred Resource Estimate for the project, produced in accordance with 43-101 guidelines; this is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2018.
For further information on the Bristol Dry Lake Project please see Standard Lithium’s Technical Report compiled in accordance with NI 43-101 guidelines dated September 15, 2016 on Sedar.com.
Owing to Standard’s unique position of working in partnership with existing brine operators, Standard has been able to harvest bulk samples of raw brine from the salar and send them off for process testing work. Testing has commenced at three separate technology centres across North America and is focused on using modern, but well-understood, industrial processes to efficiently extract lithium from the brines, and convert the lithium into high purity, battery-grade end-products.
The techniques being testing include combinations of membrane ultrafiltration (UF) and nanofiltration (NF); selective solvent extraction (SX); selective ion-exchange (IX); and high purity fractional crystallisation technologies. Standard has a highly experienced team of chemists, chemical engineers and process engineers working on combining these modern technologies to produce a highly efficient process flowsheet for the Bristol Dry Lake Lithium Brine Project. As the project is located in one of the highest evaporation areas in North America (average greater than 9 ft of evaporation per year), and is in a basin with a long history of industrial brine harvesting and processing, there is also the potential to use classic solar evaporation to pre-concentrate the brine prior to using modern process technologies; this potential is being tested by Standard through a series of short-duration evaporation pond tests, and data from these tests will be incorporated into the process flowsheet if it proves to be beneficial.
The reader is cautioned that Li concentrations were taken from a small sample during a Sept 2017 site visit and that the Company has not completed a NI 43-101 Resource Estimate for the Cadiz opportunity.
Neither the Company, nor National Chloride Company of America (“National Chloride”) makes any representations as to the value of lease rights associated with National Chloride’s Bristol Dry Lake mineral claims (the “Property”), the availability of any particular resource or minerals on the Property, or the merits of any proposed exploration work to be completed on the Property. National Chloride expressly disclaims any responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of disclosure made by the Company in respect of the Property. Readers are cautioned that a “Qualified Person”(as that term is defined by National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects) has not done sufficient work to specify any mineral resource or reserve on the Property.