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Arizona Lithium (ASX:AZL) has begun pad construction at its Prairie project in Saskatchewan, Canada, marking the start of its first direct lithium extraction facility.
The company is progressing with direct lithium extraction (DLE) at the Prairie lithium brine project, which boasts a resource of 5.7Mt lithium carbonate equivalent. A significant portion of this resource is in the higher confidence indicated category (4Mt LCE at 127mg/L lithium), facilitating mine planning.
The DLE pilot plant recently arrived at the Saskatchewan facility, and commissioning is underway. This will enable Arizona Lithium to proceed with the final phase of the evaluation of the promising third-party DLE technology, following two successful offsite testing phases.
The project benefits from its location in a mining-friendly jurisdiction with easy access to essential infrastructure. The pads under construction will facilitate the drilling of the first production and disposal wells in H1 2024.
The upcoming pre-feasibility study will target production rates of about 2,000tpa lithium carbonate equivalent, allowing AZL to transition swiftly from pilot operations to commercialisation. Licensing for the first wells is in progress.
The DLE pilot will provide the final parameters needed to design, permit and construct the first commercial lithium extraction facility. The PFS, due by year-end, will offer an economic and technical overview of the project. Both the PFS and pilot information will be used to finalise the application to license the first commercial DLE facility.
Managing director Paul Lloyd praised the efficient Saskatchewan regulatory framework and the abundant infrastructure near the site. He expressed optimism about the project’s potential to be one of the first to market in North America.
Company Website: https://www.arizonalithium.com
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