Plans finalized for lithium extraction project in Arkansas

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Standard Lithium and its strategic partner, LANXESS Corporation, have come to terms on an agreement that Standard Lithium asserts will streamline and expedite the development of the first commercial lithium project in Arkansas, which is to be constructed at an operational Lanxess facility in El Dorado, in the southern portion of the state.

The lithium deposit that Standard Lithium is targeting stretches in an arch-like shape from north Texas to the Florida Panhandle, all located 6,000-7,000 feet below the surface. The area is reportedly larger than the Permian Basin, an oil-and-gas-producing area located in West Texas and the adjoining area of southeastern New Mexico.

According to the agreement, Standard Lithium will control all development of the project leading up to and including the completion of the Front End Engineering Design study. Standard Lithium will hold, at a minimum, a 51% majority equity stake in the project and will also retain 100% ownership of its South West Arkansas Project, another proposed lithium extraction facility, and all intellectual property related to that venture.

Lanxess will, via a series of commercial agreements, provide the brine supply for the project, the project site lease, rights of way, infrastructure, and other services for the project. In return, the company will have the right to acquire some, or all of the lithium carbonate off-take produced at the commercial plant.

In a prepared statement, Standard Lithium CEO, Robert Mintak, revealed that the company plans to have a feasibility study for the El Dorado site completed by the end of 2022.

Harnessing the vast quantities of lithium deposits in Arkansas has become a part of national plans to evolve and decarbonize the energy and transportation industry. DOE and the Biden administration have identified the need to establish a secure end-to-end battery materials and technology supply chain that supports long-term U.S. economic competitiveness, equitable job creation, and national security, and lithium provides a pathway for part of that chain.

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