LithiumBank reports largest lithium brine resource in North America at Alberta project

LithiumBank’s prospective DLE process for brine treatment looks much like an oil well. Credit: LithiumBank

Canadian explorer LithiumBank Resources (TSXV: LBNK) has tabled the largest known lithium-brine resource in North America at its Park Place project in Alberta as it targets a resource by year-end.

Calgary-based LithiumBank reported inferred resources of 21.7 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) spread across two major Alberta formations. At an average grade of 80.2 mg per litre LCE, the licensed Leduc and Swan Hills aquifer grades count among the highest recorded in the province, CEO Rob Shewchuk said Monday.,

“This presents a district scale potential opportunity for Canada to become a major supplier of lithium in North America,” LithiumBank CEO Rob Shewchuk said in a release. “The company will now focus on additional brine sample assaying, completing lithium extraction test work, and initiate a preliminary economic assessment (PEA).”

The Park Place resource puts LithiumBank’s combined lithium brine resources inventory including the Boardwalk project at 27.78 million tonnes LCE averaging just below 70 mg per litre lithium. Boardwalk, 50 km to the north, holds 395,000 tonnes LCE at 71.6 mg per litre of indicated and 5.73 million tonnes LCE at 68 mg per litre of inferred resources. , .

In comparison, fellow Prairie lithium brine developers Highwood Asset Management (TSX: HAM) has reported 18.1 million inferred tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) grading 20 mg per litre at the early-stage Drumheller property, and E3 Lithium (TSXV: ETL) has 16.9 million global tonnes at 74 mg per litre at the advanced Clearwater project.

Several lithium brine developers are working towards achieving commercial production on the continent’s oilfields, but perfecting complex extraction flow sheets remains the biggest barrier to market. Meanwhile, lithium prices have dropped by two-thirds the past year to $13,800 per tonne lithium carbonate in mid-June, according to Trading Economics.

The Boardwalk PEA released in February added $600 million in value to the project and cut costs by a third. The after-tax net present value (at an 8% discount) for Boardwalk is $2.3 billion, with an after-tax internal rate of return of 20.6%.

The company will evaluate Park Place brine chemically and metallurgically at the company’s exclusive 10,000 litres-per-day direct lithium extraction pilot plant in Calgary. That will follow a bulk brine sampling program this year.

The Park Place project, which spans over 5,665.6 sq. km, will benefit from the region’s established oil and gas infrastructure.

LithiumBank shares closed nearly 4.8% in the red Monday at C$0.77 apiece, i near the lower end of the 12-month range of C$0.71 to C$1.41 per share. It has a market capitalization of C$38.4 million ($28.1 million).