Paradox Basin Lithium Project
A Unique Lithium Project in an Excellent Jurisdiction
Anson’s flagship project is its Paradox Basin Brine Project in Utah, USA for which Anson is developing an industrial scale in-field pilot plant to produce lithium carbonate for supply to lithium ion battery cathode manufacturers for product qualification testing. Using innovative direct lithium extraction technology and conventional flow sheets for all other processing, Anson will extract lithium from brine rapidly to produce high purity products. No evaporation ponds are required in the process, saving massively on CAPEX, OPEX, space, and processing time. Anson is advancing the recovery and refinement of other chemicals to produce additional high value products from iodine, bromine and boron also contained in the brine. The recovery and processing of these chemicals would provide multiple revenue streams for Anson.
The Paradox Basin has been home to mining operations for almost a century. Intrepid Potash has been operating a potassium chloride operation nearby for half a century. Significant transportation and industrial infrastructure is already built throughout the region including high voltage power, roads, rail, and water supply, making the Paradox Basin a favorable jurisdiction for construction of a chemicals extraction facility. The project is being developed by Anson’s subsidiary company, A1 Lithium Inc.
World-Class Engineering Partners & Simple Extraction Process
Anson is advancing with the design and engineering of the industrial scale in-field pilot plant. Lilac Solutions is responsible for their proprietary ion exchange process that extracts the lithium directly from the brine with recoveries >80%.
Anson is working with other engineering partners to design the bromine, iodine, and boron extraction steps. Hazen Research is providing proof of confidence bench scale testing in their labs in Denver, CO, and Millcreek Engineering is providing the balance of plant for the pilot project. For more than 55 years, Hazen has provided chemical analyses, bench-scale experiments, continuous pilot plant demonstration, and other services. Below is a schematic of the pilot plant flow sheet currently being advanced.
A High Value Brine Resource
The Paradox Basin brine resource sits on a geological structure called Robert’s Rupture, and has many favorable characteristics:
500 ppm lithium has been assayed historically from Clastic Zone 31, a mere 40m away, with grades comparable to the highest known lithium brine grades worldwide.
High concentrations of other valuable chemicals including bromine, iodine, boron, and potassium.
Clastic Zone 31 (containing lithium rich brines) is possibly replenished from aquifers below based on Anson test work, and there are an additional 20 untested clastic zones possibly containing brines.
Brines from Clastic Zone 31 are at higher temperature (60°C compared to 40°C) and pressure (twice) than expected, simplifying the processing options for bromine recovery and heat production. Artesian flow has been observed, which is considered rare and valuable behavior for a brine resource as it reduces the amount of pumping required to extract the brine.
Potential to extract oil and gas from other geologic zones for use in the commercial plant.
Extremely safe, mining-friendly jurisdiction in a mining-friendly state and nation.
Being located near the town of Moab in Utah, USA, approximately 11 hours by road from Tesla’s Gigafactory.
Anson was able to successfully apply for the mineral salts lease because of the earlier purchase of the oil and gas lease. The granting of the lithium and salt lease is significant as it not only allows Anson to produce salts of Li, B, Br, I, Mg, Na and Ca but also enables Anson to conduct pilot plant operations on the existing oil well pad, saving valuable time in advancing the project. The fenced Cane Creek 32-1 well pad covers an area of 10.6 acres (approximately 43,000 square meters) which is considered more than adequate as a base for industrial operations. In addition to reducing the time required to build the industrial scale in-field pilot plant, significant costs will be also saved by utilizing the existing well pad which is construction-ready.
This strategically important oil and gas lease contains the Cane Creek 32-1 oil well where artesian flow of brine occurred during the recent sampling program. Owning the lease enables Anson to extract the oil and gas which could possibly be used in future production processing, providing a low-cost source of energy for on-site power generation. Oil and gas have previously been produced from the Cane Creek 32-1 well. It is possible to extract both oil and gas and lithium brine from the same well from different clastic zones using separate tubing. Cognizant of this opportunity with the granting of the oil and gas lease when determining the location of the of the industrial scale in-field pilot plant, Anson has maintained the integrity of the oil and gas production facilities for possible future use.
Tenements, Claims, and Geology
The Paradox Brine Project consists of 1,317 placer claims, 87 (the ULI Claims) that are subject to an earn-in agreement and 1,230 (the A1 Lithium Claims) that are 100% owned by Anson. In addition, one state oil and gas lease and a state mineral and industrial lease are included in the project area. Importantly, some of these claims are only 40 meters from a well with historical grades of 500 ppm lithium. Anson commenced with a 10% interest in these 87 claims which increased to 50% from the work done, and may be subject finalization under the terms of the agreement to earn-into the ULI Project. The land package is shown below.
Anson is targeting subterranean pressurised brines (SPB) from Clastic Zone 31, approximately 6,000 to 7,000 feet below the surface, and 20 additional brine zones above and below Clastic Zone 31 within the Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation, which has been defined in numerous oil wells drilled throughout the region.
Two wells near the south end of the claims (Long Canyon No.1 and Robert’s Well) were assayed for lithium within the Clastic Zone 31 horizon, and historically showed lithium values of up to 500ppm. The higher lithium values were reported closest to the Robert’s Rupture geological formation, which runs through the Project claims. In addition, bromine, boron and iodine were found to be in high concentrations.
The brines from Clastic Zone 31 are contained within up to 36 feet of shale, anhydrite and dolomite, and are not part of any oil reservoir. During historic drilling, over-pressurized brines (approximately twice the expected pressure of 4,953 psi) were encountered in Clastic Zone 31 and were found to be at a higher temperature than expected (60°C compared to 40°C). This resulted in the brines flowing to the surface when intersected by historic drilling.
Engineering reports from the 1960’s conclude that the brine reservoir is extensive and is likely recharged from fresh in-flows of artesian water as indicated by well pressure measurements and draw-down tests. A cross section of the project area with wells/drilling shown is shown below.
Historical Exploration, Assays, and Exploration Target
The Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation has been defined by numerous oil and gas test wells drilled throughout the region. Most wells were not analysed for lithium, but 6 holes within 100 meters of Anson’s claims were analysed and lithium values of up to 500 ppm from reputable assays of the Clastic Zone 31 layer were identified. In addition, bromine, boron, iodine potassium, and magnesium were found to be in high concentrations. Anson has an estimated Exploration Target of 85 to 170 million tonnes of brine grading 100 to 500 ppm of lithium for Clastic Zone 31 only, with potential to expand the resource by exploring other Clastic Zones. Below is a summary of historical assays.
Competent Person’s Statement
The information note above that relates to exploration results and geology for the geological projects is based on information compiled and/or reviewed by Mr Greg Knox, a member in good standing of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Knox is a geologist who has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a “Competent Person”, as defined in the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. Mr Knox has reviewed and validated the metallurgical data produced by Lilac Solutions and consents to the inclusion in this announcement of this information in the form and context in which it appears. Mr Knox is a director of Anson and a consultant to Anson.
Chemical Engineer’s Statement
The information in this announcement that relates to lithium extraction and processing is based on information compiled and/or reviewed by Mr. Alexander Grant. Mr. Grant is a chemical engineer with a MS degree in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University. Mr. Grant has sufficient experience which is relevant to the lithium extraction and processing undertaken to evaluate the data presented.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements regarding plans with respect to Anson’s mineral projects are forward looking statements. There can be no assurance that Anson’s plans for development of its projects will proceed as expected and there can be no assurance that Anson will be able to confirm the presence of mineral deposits, that mineralisation may prove to be economic or that a project will be developed.
A Competent Person has not done sufficient work on historical exploration results to disclose the Exploration Results in accordance with the JORC Code 2012; and it is possible that following further evaluation and/or exploration work that the confidence in the prior reported Exploration Results may be reduced when reported under the JORC Code 2012. Nothing has come to the attention of Anson that causes it to question the accuracy or reliability of the former owner’s Exploration Results. Anson has not independently validated the former owner’s Exploration Results and therefore is not to be regarded as reporting, adopting or endorsing those results.