Arizona Lithium (ASX:AZL) begins production drilling at Prairie Project in Saskatchewan


Source: Arizona Lithium

Arizona Lithium (ASX:AZL) has announced the commencement of production drilling at its 100% owned Prairie Project in Saskatchewan, Canada. The project, located in the resource-rich Williston Basin, uses conventional oil and gas drilling and refining methods to extract lithium-rich brine from aquifers approximately 2.3 km underground.

Paul Lloyd, Managing Director of Arizona Lithium, commented in a press release: “I am pleased to report that we have started our drilling program on schedule. The rig has been delivered to site, the first well has been commenced and the rig is now drilling our lithium wells. Operating in a mature and well-developed oil and gas province allows us to efficiently access the skills and services required to develop and advance our project. These are very deep holes drilled by a high performance oil drilling rig. It takes over 40 service providers and hundreds of people to execute a drilling and completion program such as this. I would like to thank all of the suppliers, their employees and the local community for their strong support of our project and we look forward to updating shareholders on the progress of the major drilling program.”

The drilling program will span several months and cover a total of three drilling platforms. The first phase will involve vertical drilling to assess the economic viability of the Souris River and Duperow formations, followed by the Dawson Bay formation and specific disposal targets. Production and disposal testing of the drilling on the first drilling platform is scheduled to begin in June, according to the Australian lithium developer.

Paul Lloyd, CEO of Arizona Lithium, emphasized the complexity of the drilling and completion program, stating: “These are very deep holes being drilled by a heavy oil rig. To execute a drilling and completion program like this requires over 40 contractors and hundreds of people.”

The Prairie Project has a mineral resource of 6.3 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), comprising 4.5 million tonnes LCE (indicated) and 1.8 million tonnes LCE (estimated). The Company aims to capitalise on the strong environmental attributes of the Project by using less freshwater, land and waste, consistent with its sustainable approach to lithium development.

The commencement of drilling is a major milestone for Canada's lithium industry as it will bring the country's first commercial lithium production facility online. The project's location in Saskatchewan, one of the most mining-friendly jurisdictions in the world, provides easy access to key infrastructure such as electricity, natural gas, fresh water, paved highways and railways.

With production and disposal wells in place, the Prairie Project's commercialization schedule is significantly de-risked and the project is one step closer to commercial lithium production targeted for 2025. Ongoing drilling and completions on the three platforms over the coming months are expected to further advance the project's development.

The above is an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not investment advice. For investment advice, consult a licensed professional. The author is neither an insider nor a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned above.

Matthew Evanoff

I specialize in the mining industry, focusing on the world's major mining stocks. My coverage includes the latest industry news, company/project developments, and profiles of key players. With a degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Toronto, I have contributed to a variety of industry publications. Beyond my professional activities, I have a keen interest in global business and enjoy traveling.