Edward Lauer, the head of portfolio optimization at Eurasian Resources Group, commented on the future of the lithium market, "Long-term strong battery demand is very real… Even if demand from commercial and residential battery storage doesn't materialize to the same extent, consumer electronics and electric vehicle industries will only continue to grow."
Just this morning Zadar Ventures Ltd. (OTCQB: ZADDF) (TSX-V: ZAD) announced that it "has entered into an MOU with a private Alberta Company to purchase up to 38,000 hectares of land prospective for lithium bearing petrobrines in Manitoba. Manitoba is a jurisdiction well-known for its oil production in the southeast section of the Province and historic lithium production in east central Manitoba at the Tanco Mine at Bernic Lake, Manitoba.
Company President Paul D. Gray, P.Geo. commented, "We are excited to get involved in a new area of lithium exploration in well-established petroleum production basins. The demand for low cost lithium production in stable jurisdictions is going to be the key driver in the ever growing energy storage space. These Manitoba petrobrine fields offer a rare opportunity to leverage on the existing handling of saline waters potentially enriched in lithium at surface, and Zadar will be determining if this is an economically viable opportunity."
Petrobrines are considered to be saline formational waters associated with petroleum production which could potentially be utilized as feedstock for mineral extraction, including lithium ("Li").
Production of Manitoba petroleum reservoirs has been consistent since the mid 1980s and many of these oil production reservoirs are either in direct contact with carbonates hosted within the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, such as within the prolific Bakken Formation or are hosted within the actual carbonate lithologies, such as with the Three Forks Formation oilfields. These sedimentary carbonate rocks are potential source rock for lithium brine accumulation.
In almost all cases oil production wells in these areas produce petroleum that is intimately associated with formational waters. This water is considered a waste bi-product of petroleum production, and typically rich in dissolved mineral solids and of high salinity. These saline waters are, in normal course, disposed of by pumping the saline waters into other, usually deeper, sedimentary formations. As the production well nears its end of life, it is the cost of this water disposal that usually causes the well to be uneconomic to further produce. A normal well could produce 2000 m water per month, all of which could contain an elevated number of dissolved solids.
The determination of the lithium content of these saline waters within the producing petroleum fields is the next step in lithium exploration as these waters are being brought to the surface and handled on a regular basis. The potential to process these waters and extract any lithium is the target of petrobrine lithium exploration. This news release has been reviewed and approved by Mr. Paul D. Gray, P.Geo., who is the Company's qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101."
MGX Minerals Inc. (OTC: MGXMF) (CSE: XMG.CN) is a diversified Canadian mining company engaged in the development of large-scale industrial mineral portfolios in western Canada. The Company operates lithium, magnesium and silicon projects throughout British Columbia and Alberta, as well as petro lithium exploration in Utah. Recently, the company released a maiden N.I. 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for its Driftwood Creek magnesium project, which outlined 8.3 million tonnes grading 43.31% magnesium oxide. In January the Company received a 20-year Mining Lease for Driftwood Creek. Additionally, the Company is the largest lithium brine land holder in Canada, controlling nearly 487,000 hectares of land representing over one million barrels of brine production per day.
Millennial Lithium Corporation (OTCQB: MLNLF) recently announced positive results of a recently completed ground geophysics program at its Cruz Property, located in the Pocitos salar basin in Salta Province, Argentina. The Cruz Property is being explored in partnership with Southern Lithium Corp. which has an option to acquire up to 80 percent of the project from Millennial by completing certain cash and share payments, funding exploration and completing a feasibility study. "The results of this geophysics program appear to confirm our assertion that the Pocitos basin is highly likely to host significant lithium brine. The basin's proximity to other large resources, it's structural setting and known chemical indicators are reinforced by these results in justifying and targeting exploration drilling. We are very encouraged by this program, and grateful to Quantec Argentina for their quality work and thoughtful interpretation. Our plan now is to commence the drilling program as soon as permitting allows," said Millennial Chief Operating Officer, Iain Scarr.
Pure Energy Minerals Limited (OTCQB: PEMIF) completed Phase 3 drill program at its Clayton Valley South Lithium Brine Project. According to the statement, hydrogeologists collected multiple representative sections of core from potential aquifers for testing of physical and hydrogeological properties at accredited laboratories. Pure Energy's team has also conducted preliminary downhole well logging to assess various formational properties before proceeding with well construction. Initial observations of formational conductivity, lithology, and porosity, are encouraging and consistent with other productive lithium-brine exploration boreholes drilled on the Project.
Lithium Americas Corporation (OTCQX: LACDF) together with its joint venture partner SQM, is developing the Cauchari-Olaroz Lithium project, located in Jujuy, Argentina, through its 50 percent interest in Minera Exar S.A. In addition, Lithium Americas owns 100% of the Lithium Nevada project, and RheoMinerals Inc., a supplier of rheology modifiers for oil-based drilling fluids, coatings, and specialty chemicals. The company intends to become a major supplier of lithium products to the energy storage and electrified vehicle markets. Lithium Americas, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Hectatone Inc., is a supplier of specialty drilling additives and other organoclay products for the oil and gas, agricultural, and other industries.
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