The Largest Proposed Lithium Hydroxide Monohydrate ("LHM") Production in North America
The Boardwalk Lithium Brine Project is located in west-central Alberta, approximately 85 km east of the City of Grande Prairie and 270 km northwest of the City of Edmonton. The Project consists of 30 Alberta Metallic and Industrial Mineral contiguous permits covering an area of 572,237 acres.
The Boardwalk PEA was compiled by Hatch Ltd. (“Hatch”) integrating the work of Hatch and other consultants each having the qualifications necessary to author their respective sections of the PEA. Since their founding in 1955, Hatch has successfully designed numerous large scale industrial projects throughout North America and the world.
The Sturgeon Lake oil and gas field where the Boardwalk Project sits was first discovered in 1952. Since then, petroleum companies have developed a strong foundation of social and physical infrastructure in the area. This history of continuous hydrocarbon extraction lends to a well trained labour force, networks of all-weather gravel roads, drill sites that can be accessed from Provincial highways, and electrical transmission lines that run through and adjacent to the project.
- 31,350 metric tonnes per year of battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (“LHM”) over a 20-year period, the largest proposed LHM production in North America
- USD $2.7 Billion NPV8 and 21.6% IRR on a pre tax basis
- USD $1.7 Billion NPV8 and 17.8% IRR on an after tax basis
- OPEX of USD $6,807/tonne LHM
- Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE”) used to process Boardwalk brine will require less fresh water and have a surface footprint that is a fraction of hard rock or evaporation lithium production.
- Located in Tier 1 jurisdiction, west-central Alberta, that has a long history of resource extraction, well established infrastructure, and an actively supportive government.
- Power to be generated on site using high-efficiency gas turbines with steam cogeneration that will lower the project’s overall carbon footprint. The proposed gas turbine units may be run on 80% hydrogen when a reliable supply is available.
- Multiple opportunities to significantly enhance project economics through optimization, further engineering, and pending incentive tax credit.
- Project economics used USD $26,000/t LHM and provides strong leverage to higher lithium prices.
Near Term PEA Enhancements
- The Government of Canada announced an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for Clean Technology Manufacturing in its Budget 2023. Refundable tax credit will be applied on capital expenditures for the extraction and processing of critical minerals (ITC link).
- Use of smaller electrical submersible pumps (ESPs) that could fit in reduced diameter well casing throughout the network that would significantly reduce capital expenditures.
- Leveraging of existing wells and surface infrastructure including roads, well pads, pipelines, and utilities.
- Reduction of well and power requirements through enhanced 3-D reservoir modelling and new drilling information.
- Next generation sorbent being developed by Conductive, the provider of the lithium brine DLE technology chosen for the PEA, is expected to reduce costs, increase efficiency and reduce reagent consumption.
- Alternative DLE technology trade-off studies.
- Utilize ZS2 Technologies Inc. to capture and sequester CO2 emissions to produce carbon credits, extract magnesium from barren brine to produce low carbon cement products that will lower brine reinjection amounts by at least 10%.
- Additional trade-off studies aimed at streamlining pipeline infrastructure.
The LithiumBank Advantage
LithiumBank has used a wealth of historical oil and gas drilling and seismic data in completing a maiden NI 43-101 Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate dated May 18, 2021. Over 550 wells have been drilled into the Leduc formation at Sturgeon Lake by previous and current petro-operators, 65 of which have been historically sampled for Leduc formation brine between 2010-2019. These historical brine sampling programs show that the lithium content in the Leduc Formation aquifer is homogeneous with respect to lithium content over the investigated reservoir portions of the ~50 km long reef complex.
A 3-D closed solid polygon wireframe of the Leduc Formation aquifer domain was used to calculate the volume of the Leduc Formation rock, or the aquifer volume. The aquifer volume underlying the Sturgeon Lake Property, summarized as the total Leduc Formation domain aquifer volume, is of 321.99 km3.
LithiumBank formed a brine access agreement with the major petro-operator in control of the Sturgeon Lake South and Sturgeon Lake North oilfields on May 14, 2021. The agreement permits LithiumBank to obtain brine from the existing oil and gas infrastructure for the purpose of exploration work (i.e., assaying, and mineral processing test work).