Arizona Lithium starts production drilling at Prairie project in Saskatchewan

The Prairie Lithium project is in the heart of Saskatchewan’s resource-rich Williston Basin. (Image courtesy of Arizona Lithium.)

Arizona Lithium (ASX: AZL) announced on Monday the start of production drilling at its 100% owned Prairie project in Saskatchewan.

The project, located in the resource-rich Williston Basin, utilizes conventional oil and gas drilling and completion methods to access lithium-rich brine from aquifers about 2.3 km underground.

The drilling program, covering a total of three pads, will extend over the next few months. Production and disposal testing of the wells on the first pad is scheduled to start in June, the Australia-based lithium developer said.

According to the company, the start of drilling operations would mark the launch of Canada’s first commercial lithium production plant.

The initial phase will involve drilling vertical wells to explore the Souris River and Duperow formations for commercial viability. It will then move onto the Dawson Bay formation and specific disposal targets.

“These are very deep holes being drilled by a heavy duty oil drilling rig. It will take over 40 service providers and hundreds of people to execute a drilling and completion program like this,” Arizona Lithium managing director Paul Lloyd said.

The Prairie project holds a mineral resource of 6.3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), comprised of 4.5 million tonnes LCE indicated and 1.8 million tonnes LCE inferred.

Shares of Arizona Lithium rose 10.6% in Monday trading on the ASX. The company has a market capitalization of A$107 million ($71 million).