Galvanic Smackover Prospect
Where is the Galvanic Smackover prospect?
The prospect is a trend of lithium- and bromine-enriched brine extending through Lafayette and Columbia counties in Southern Arkansas. See this map for location.
What is the Smackover Formation?
The Smackover Formation is a porous limestone that historically produced oil and is now the world’s largest source of bromine, which is commonly used in flame-retardant materials. The Smackover Formation in this region is responsible for about 40 percent of the world’s bromine production. Currently, Albemarle Corp. and Lanxess Corp. pump and dispose of approximately 250 million barrels of brine a year from this prolific reservoir.
Does anyone produce lithium from the Smackover Formation?
Standard Lithium (aka Arkansas Lithium Corp.) currently operates a demonstration plant in conjunction with Lanxess Corp. in Union County and has plans to develop acreage in Lafayette County controlled by TETRA Technologies, Inc.
How do Galvanic’s lithium concentrations compare to other North American brine prospects?
Galvanic’s average lithium concentration is 325 parts per million (ppm). By comparison, Standard Lithium reports an average concentration of 168 ppm for the Lanxess prospect and an average of 199 ppm for the TETRA prospect. Additionally, Anson Resources reports an average of 173 ppm in the Paradox Basin, Utah and E3 Metals reports an average of 75 ppm in the Alberta Basin, Canada.
Lithium resource potential
Where is most of the world’s lithium produced?
The USGS reports Australia to be the largest lithium producer in 2019, producing twice the amount as the second largest producing country, Chile.
How many electric vehicles (EVs) could Galvanic’s prospect potentially supply?
Galvanic’s prospect has an inferred resource of approximately 4 million tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), sufficient to power more than 50 million EVs.
Jumpstarting a greener U.S. energy economy
How does this prospect fit into America’s plans for a less carbon-intensive economy?
Currently, most of the world’s produced lithium travels from South America and Australia to China for processing, then is distributed to battery manufacturers in Asia. From there, lithium batteries are shipped around the world. This transportation chain is inconsistent with worldwide goals for reductions in carbon dioxide. By supplying a domestic resource, a shortened supply chain will greatly reduce CO2 emissions.
About the DLE process
How does Direct Lithium Extraction work?
Direct lithium extraction (DLE) is a process in which dissolved lithium ions are selectively removed from the brine and processed into battery grade material. Unlike conventional lithium mining methods, which require open-pit mines or large evaporation ponds, brine mining operations, such as in the Smackover, use a closed-looped system with a very small, distributed footprint. Brine is pumped out of the earth, elements of interest are extracted, and brine is returned to the Smackover Formation.
How does DLE compare to traditional lithium mining?
Current methods for obtaining lithium involve either open-pit mines or large solar evaporation lagoons to concentrate the salts. Comparatively, DLE has a very small footprint.