Phase one will consist of access management planning, entailing the negotiation of formation water access with the relevant oil and gas companies that are producing within the boundaries of the property.
The consultant, Apex Geoscience, also suggests a sampling analytical program that will comprise the collection of 100 formation water samples from 70 to 80 wells for geochemical analysis.
As Sturgeon Lake has yet to have any exploration conducted on it the basic plan is test the brine in other parts of the Sturgeon Lake oilfield to fully quantify the areas (and wells) with elevated specialty elements, and to collect water samples for bench-top test work that will focus on the extraction and recovery of lithium and other elements of interest.
“The sampling program should emphasis sample collection from within the Leduc Formation aquifer; in addition and where applicable, the sampling program should include brine from wells producing from the Beaverhill Lake Formation, which is known to have elevated Li, K and other elements (e.g., in the Fox Creek area located approximately 100 km south-east of the Sturgeon Lake sub-property),” the report said.
Initial extraction experiments should focus on those techniques that eliminate traditional methods of invasive mining or evaporation ponds that require significant land, water, and energy use, the consultant advised.
Apex estimates the cost of completing phase one will be around C$80,000.
Phase two is more intensive, and is estimated to cost a further C$455,000, but is vital in progressing towards the all-important preparation of an NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource element.
Apex recommends using the results from phase one work, in conjunction with reservoir characterization, to prepare maiden inferred resource estimations.
The mineral resource estimation can be calculated by multiplying the total in-place formation water by the average mineral grade (from the brine sampling and analysis).
Concurrently with the resource estimation process, laboratory-scaled test work should be conducted to explore and optimize recovery processes, the consultant advised, and the company should also initiate surface disposition and environmental studies.
The full report, in PDF format, is available here.
Story by ProactiveInvestors