Arizona Lithium has started the construction on a site at the first proposed commercial Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) facility and is preparing the ground for the first production and disposal wells, scheduled to be drilled in the first half of 2024

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Arizona Lithium starts building well pad at Prairie project. (Credit: Jason Jarrach on Unsplash)

Australian mining company Arizona Lithium, previously known as Hawkstone Mining, has started construction of the first commercial pad at its Prairie project in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Arizona Lithium has started the construction on a site that will hold the wells at the first proposed commercial Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) facility.

The company has been preparing the ground for the first production and disposal wells, which are scheduled to be drilled in the first half of 2024.

The well pad is expected to produce at a rate of around 2,000 tonnes per annum (TPA) of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE), based on its upcoming preliminary feasibility study (PFS).

With the construction of the well pad, Arizona Lithium will drill wells to rapidly advance the first DLE facility, from pilot operations to commercialisation.

It has submitted applications to licence the initial two wells for the Prairie project well pad, said the Australian mining company.

Arizona Lithium managing director Paul Lloyd said: “The ability to receive permits to construct the pad, highlights the expediency of the responsible and efficient Saskatchewan regulatory framework, which is built on years of oil and mining development.

“There is abundant infrastructure near this site, as this is a very active industrial region for agriculture, mining and oil. This ability to get things done is a prime example of why Saskatchewan is consistently named a top-ranked jurisdiction for mining investment, and why we believe our project in Saskatchewan will be one of the first to market in North America.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the government of Saskatchewan on finalising the licence and permits for our wells and lithium extraction operations over the coming months, as we continue to target 2025 for initial production.”

Arizona Lithium is focused on the development of two large lithium development projects in North America, the Big Sandy Lithium Project and the Prairie Lithium Project in Canada.

The company is advancing the Prairie project to ensure that the lithium extraction technology can be deployed at a commercial scale as fast as possible.

Its DLE pilot will provide the final parameters required to design, permit, and build the first commercial lithium extraction facility.

The PFS will provide a scope of economics and a technical overview of the project.

Arizona Lithium will use the information from the Pilot and PFS, which are expected completed by the end of this year, to finalise its application to licence the first commercial DLE facility.