How Standard Lithium Intends To Disrupt Lithium Mining

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the world becomes unplugged, Standard Lithium is set to charge it. Smart phones, electric vehicles and green energy storage are growing demand for lithium at exponential rates as they all require lithium-ion batteries to store power.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Goldman Sachs has called lithium “the new gasoline”

Credit Suisse estimates that the global shortfall of lithium could reach nearly 150,000 metric tonnes by 2025. Tesla has plans to produce 500,000 electric vehicles by 2018, which at today’s supply rations would equate to 15% of the world’s annual output. Ford Motors has just announced it plans to spend $4.5 billion to electrify up to 40% of its vehicle lineup by 2020.

Lithium is mainly produced in four countries at scale around the world and is quite abundant. The real underlying issues surrounding lithium resides in the supply chain metrics. There is no open marketplace to trade lithium, hence all transactions are done privately between buyers and sellers. Additionally, securing supply requires long lead times and in most cases sourcing from geopolitically risky parts of the world.

Traditional recovery of lithium requires a two-year evaporation process before it can be fully processed for end delivery to consumers. Tack on the fact that over 60% of the world’s supply originates from countries like China, Argentina and Chile.

With the traditional supply chain metrics for lithium becoming unsustainable, investment banks agree that a significant supply shortage is likely to hit the lithium market within less than five years. Last estimates have lithium carbonate trading at approximately $15,000 per tonne. Many analysts agree prices are likely to double in the coming years as demand continues to compound each year and the world’s output of lithium increasing slow at best.

Add all this up and it’s no wonder why North American tech companies like Tesla, Apple and First Solar are becoming increasingly concerned with how they will source future supplies of lithium.

Yes, the race to produce lithium is on.

In response, most junior mining companies have headed to what is known as the lithium triangle in South America. The region is responsible for nearly half the world’s annual output and is known for its high-grade brines saturated in lithium.

The downside of this region, beyond the obvious geopolitical risks, is the remoteness of the area and its reliance on solar evaporation processes. In turn, this means many years of exploration, multibillion-dollar capital build-outs to establish new operations, navigating unclear permitting paths, and in all likelihood a decade or more before the first tonne of lithium is ever produced, if at all.

Why Standard Lithium Stands Out from The Rest

One company taking a different approach to developing lithium brine projects is Standard Lithium.  Led by an innovation & results-oriented management team with a strong focus on technical skills, the company is focusing its efforts on acquiring underdeveloped brines located in North America that are known to host anomalous levels of lithium.

The company believes this strategy eliminates the geopolitical risks associated with other parts of the world while also providing access to significant existing infrastructure. Both factors weigh heavily on the current global lithium supply chain. To further eliminate risk and speed up time to market, Standard Lithium is also partnering existing operators who have producing brine operations in place.

Utilizing its significant experience, familiarity and existing technology with recovering lithium from brine, the company can partner with existing operators to unlock the lithium potential of each project. All else equal, it wouldn’t take many of these deals before Standard Lithium could become a major global supplier of lithium.

With this strategy Standard Lithium has leap frogged hundreds of other junior mining companies who are still in the early stages of exploration, albeit decades away from even beginning to think about producing lithium.

Standard Lithium Has Shown Investors the Strategy Works

In May the company signed a comprehensive agreement with National Chloride Company of America, a private company who controls 146 mining claims in Bristol Lake, California. This deal could potentially fast track Standard Lithium to become just the second lithium brine producer in North America.

Bristol Lake checked all the right boxes:

  • an active brine operation
  • significant existing infrastructure
  • politically secure jurisdiction with a favorable attitude towards mining
  • known historic levels of lithium.

Spanning over 16,000 acres and sitting over an aquifer that reaches up to 1.2 kilometers in thickness, the Bristol Lake area has been mined for the last 100 years by multiple operators to produce concentrated chloride products for various industrial applications. The area has access to the electric grid, is accessible by paved roads, and sits just a few hours east of Los Angeles.

It has been long known that the underlying aquifers at Bristol Lake contain lithium. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) conducted historic borehole drilling and produced brine samples assaying up to 100 mg/L lithium across entire intervals reaching 500 feet.

Standard Lithium hasn’t wasted any time getting to work either. Since inking the deal in May the company has already completed two detailed geophysical surveys, outlining both the extensive nature of the basin and its highly conductive brine resources. Once data has been fully compiled, the company plans to establish a maiden N.I. 43-101 compliant resource estimate along with plans to set up a pilot plant in early 2018.

It is nothing more than a lack of outside expertise and modern-day technology that has left the vast resources of lithium at Bristol Lake untouched for a hundred years. Taking these types of brine operations to the next level however requires highly skilled, well financed teams.

Standard Lithium’s Strong Management Team Backed by Strategic Investors

Financed with over $8 million in treasury and being led by former Pure Energy Minerals co-founder Robert Mintak, Standard Lithium has set the stage at Bristol Lake for what could quickly become North America’s second lithium brine operation.

After leaving Pure Energy, Mintak regrouped with renowned lithium brine experts Dr. Andy Robinson and Raymond Spanjers. Robinson is known as having compiled the North America’s first N.I. 43-101 compliant resource estimate for a lithium brine deposit while Spanjers has spent the majority of his 36-year career focused on lithium, including a 10-year stint with FMC Corporation, the world’s third largest producer of lithium.

The company’s co-founder and largest shareholder is Robert (Bob) Cross. He is a well-known and respected name in the mining industry with a proven track record of building value and rewarding shareholders with big returns. Take some of previous endeavors:

  • Co-founder of Bankers Petroleum. Began trading at $0.43 and went as high $9.64, providing shareholders a return of up to 1,995% gain
  • Co-founder of B2Gold. Began trading at $0.30 and went as high as $4.30, providing shareholders a return of up to 1,333%
  • Resided as a Director for Athabasca Potash until it was acquired by BHP Billiton for $341 million

Five Reasons to Consider Standard Lithium

  1. Bob Cross and Management are proven winners and represent the perfect lithium dream team to build a portfolio of producing lithium brine operations across North America.
  2. Partnership with National Chloride could fast track Standard Lithium to become a lithium producer in North America.
  3. Lithium demand is set to rise by 16 percent per year over the course of the next decade, quadrupling by 2025 to 750,000 tons, according to Morningstar.
  4. The Company’s development strategy of maximizing opportunity while minimizing risk and unlocking and creating value from resources the industry has never considered before.
  5. Lithium prices have shot up to $9,100 per metric tonne ( and may continue to rise with the increased demand for lithium-ion batteries.

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Jon Malach

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Bristol Lake