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Anson Resources Limited (“Anson” or “the Company”) is pleased to provide the following update to the development strategy of the Paradox Lithium Project (“the Paradox Project”) in Utah, in the USA.
- Anson confirms plans for a major increase in planned production capacity of its core asset, the Paradox Lithium Project in Utah, USA.
- Project’s Detailed Feasibility Study (“DFS”) to target Stage 1 production capacity of 10,000 tonnes per annum of battery grade lithium carbonate.
- This represents a 275% increase in production capacity from the 2,674tpa published in the Project’s Updated Preliminary Economic Assessment (1 September 2021).
- Anson’s decision to increase lithium production capacity is driven by;
- Anticipated significant JORC resource increase at the Project;
- Growing lithium demand and higher lithium prices; and
- Enhanced lithium recoveries and superior performance of Anson’s 99.95% purity lithium carbonate.
- Bromine production capacity at the Paradox Project is to be added progressively, to align with forecast substantial demand growth for zincbromine batteries (for renewable energy storage) and other bromine derivative products.
- Development of the Paradox Project is progressing rapidly, with the DFS being undertaken by leading engineering company Worley well advanced, and a major Resource expansion program ongoing.
- Battery Grade Lithium Carbonate is currently selling for around US$79,550/t1.
Substantial developments in the lithium market, combined with the unique attributes of the Paradox Project, have allowed Anson to pursue a major expansion of the planned Stage 1 Lithium Carbonate production capacity to 10,000 tonnes per annum.
This represents an increase in planned production capacity of 275% on the 2,674 tonnes per annum target previously reported in the Paradox Project’s Updated Preliminary Economic Assessment (ASX announcement, 1 September 2021).
This strategic expansion will be incorporated into the Paradox Project’s Detailed Feasibility Study (“DFS”), which is being undertaken by global engineering firm, Worley.
This major expansion in planned production capacity is driven by:
- Anticipated JORC Resource upgrade and increase to be delivered from the ongoing Resource Expansion Program, and increased project area (refer ASX announcements 17 January 2022, 2 February 2022, 28 March 2022, 23 May 2022 and 1 June 2022);
- Higher lithium recoveries achieved from Anson’s Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE”) test work; 91.5% recoveries against previously estimated 80% (refer ASX announcement 13 August 2021);
- In excess of 1,000% increase in the Lithium Carbonate price over the past 24 months driven by forecast demand growth, stemming from the global electric vehicle revolution (see Figure 1 below);
- Rapid expansion in private sector investment in lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities in the United States (see Figure 2 below) and increased offtake activity for sustainably produced Lithium Carbonate;
- The superior performance of Anson’s 99.95% purity Lithium Carbonate relative to commercially available battery-grade Lithium Carbonate in lithium-ion battery cells, indicating a longer battery lifespan (refer ASX announcement 9 September 2021);
- The designation by the US Government of lithium as a critical mineral, with domestic production being in the national interest; and
- The allocation of approximately US$20 billion in low interest loans by the US Government to support the transition from fossil fuels to an alternative energy economy, including the development of a domestic lithium supply chain.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are undergoing rapid consumer adoption, with a market expected to explode by a 24.5 percent CAGR between 2022 and 2028. Analysts expect EVs to create steadily-increasing lithium demand, with demand outpacing supply in 2022 and creating a deficit of 80,000 megatonnes. Mining companies that produce lithium likely won’t have any problems finding buyers.
The United States and Canada import most of their lithium to meet their ever-increasing needs. But that’s not for lack of deposits; both countries have significant lithium sources that have gone undeveloped. Fortunately, companies are exploring and developing lithium assets in North America’s mining-friendly jurisdictions, such as Utah and Quebec. Will new lithium producers create a North American supply chain that keeps up with demand?
Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) is an Australian-based exploration and development mining company focusing on the resources necessary to meet the energy demands of the future. The company’s flagship project, the Paradox Lithium Project, has the potential to become a world-class lithium producer and is located near Tesla’s massively productive gigafactory in the United States. Additional projects target nickel, copper, and uranium.
The Paradox Project is located in Utah, a mining-friendly and politically stable jurisdiction. The asset holds significant lithium brine deposits, and the company has identified an extraction method that has delivered an extraction rate of 91.5 percent. This technique calls for passing the lithium through the resin, which captures the resin, and can then be separated from the resin with water. From that state, it can be processed into lithium carbonate. The company is currently undertaking a major JORC resource expansion drilling program, the results of which will feed into a Detailed Feasibility Study being carried out by global engineering firm, Worley.
The project also contains bromine that may be extracted and processed as a valuable secondary product. Anson Resources has a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tetra Technologies (NYSE:TTI) to help deliver brine production at Paradox.
The company’s management team has extensive relevant experience. Bruce Richardson, CEO and executive chairman, has held senior management positions in the private and public sectors for over 30 years. Greg Knox, executive director, has over 20 years of experience as an exploration and mining geologist for companies. Michael van Uffelen, non-executive director, has over 30 years of experience in accounting, investments, and corporate finance.
- Anson Resources is focused on developing its flagship project, the Paradox Lithium Project, into a significant lithium producing operation.
- The company is currently undertaking a major JORC Resource expansion program at Paradox, which will form part of a Detailed Feasibility Study which is being undertaken by leading global engineering consultants, Worley.
- The Paradox Project contains multiple lithium brine targets, and the company has identified an extraction method that produces an impressive return rate of 91.5 percent. Also, the project’s Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) method is expected to deliver significant ESG benefits
- In addition, the project’s brine also contains bromine, creating a valuable second potential revenue stream for the asset.
- Anson Resources’ other projects target nickel, copper, vanadium and uranium. The company aims to supply energy markets with the mineral resources necessary to power the future.
- The company has an experienced management team with a mix of technical, corporate and commercial skills driving the project towards its ambitious goals.
Paradox Lithium Project
The Utah-based project covers 95 square kilometers and is in a great position to become a domestic lithium supplier to Tesla and other automakers developing EVs. The project will utilize the direct extraction process, a cost-effective technique for extracting lithium from underground aquifers.
The project contains lithium and bromine, which use similar extraction and processing methods. In addition, the Paradox Project has water access and robust local infrastructure to support future development. Anson Resources is presently in late-stage exploration on the way to project development and then the commencement of production.
- Promising Resource Estimate: A JORC compliant resource estimate indicates 186,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent. Completed material test work indicates that the resulting lithium products will meet or exceed ‘battery grade’ standards, reaching up to 140 ppm lithium.
- Major Resource Upside Potential: JORC Resource expansion drilling program currently underway.
- Robust Local Infrastructure: The project has existing infrastructure that contains electricity, gas, road, rail and water.
- No Evaporation Ponds Necessary: Anson’s chosen DLE mining and extraction technique does not require evaporation ponds, common in lithium brine projects. This saves on CAPEX, OPEX and processing time and will deliver significant ESG benefits.
Yellow Cat Vanadium-Uranium Project
The Yellow Cat project covers 708 hectares with historic high-grade uranium-vanadium exploration and production. The project is located 40 kilometers away from Anson’s Paradox Lithium project in Utah, creating an opportunity to develop both simultaneously.
- Strong Historical Results: Previous drilling results include 0.3 feet at 37,500ppm uranium and 3.34% vanadium. Historical production reached 114 mlbs at 2,400 ppm uranium and 1.47 vanadium.
- Nearby Uranium Mill: The project is close to White Mesa Mill, which is the only conventional and fully licensed uranium/vanadium mill in the United States.
Anson has an extensive project area in Western Australia covering a total of 458 square kilometers across three projects. Each project contains high grades of nickel, copper, and PGEs based on historical exploration data. However, much of the project areas remain unexplored or underexplored, which provides an excellent exploration opportunity for Anson.
Western Australian Projects:
- The Bull Project: This claim covers 82 square kilometers in close proximity to Chalice Mining’s (ASX:CHN) world-class Julimar project and has not had any previous exploration for nickel, copper or PGEs. It contains a magnetic structure indicative of geological formations that contain these elements. Additionally, the project has road, rail, power and port infrastructure. Three areas have already been identified for future drilling.
- Ajana / Mary Springs Project: Covering 220 square kilometers, these claims have historical data indicating 390,000 tons at 6.5% lead, 3% zinc, at 15.0/t silver. Copper is visible, but the grade was not identified in historical assays.
- Hooley Well Project: The claim covers 154 square kilometers and is highly prospective for nickel, copper and PGEs. Shallow historical drilling on the claim intersected nickel and cobalt laterites. Results include up to 1.24% nickel at 8 meters.
Bruce Richardson - Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Bruce Richardson has spent more than 30 years developing business opportunities in China and is fluent in Mandarin. He has held senior positions in industry and government. In addition, he has 16 years experience in the private sector having worked as General Manager of one of Australia’s blue-chip companies in Shanghai. He also worked as General Manager of a UK-based company with production and marketing operations in China, and General Manager of a business consultancy company based in Beijing. Richardson has 10 years’ experience in the public sector having worked as an Australian Trade Commissioner in the Australian Embassy in Beijing, with responsibility for the resources portfolio, and as Trade Development Director, Australian Commerce & Industry Office Taipei, Taiwan. In 2006/07, Richardson worked for the Western Australian government as Manager China, Department of Industry and Resources developing business and political relationships with China. Mr. Richardson has lived in China for more than 15 years, where he has an extensive business network, particularly in the iron and steel industry. Over the past eight years Mr Richardson has been involved in developing resource projects and in attracting Chinese investment to these projects.
Greg Knox - Executive Director
Greg Knox is a qualified geologist and has more than 20 years of experience as both an exploration geologist and a mining geologist for a number of companies in Australia. He is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. He is qualified as a “Competent Person” as defined in the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. Mr. Knox is well traveled and has advised Anson on mining prospects in a number of different countries including Guatemala, Brazil, the Philippines, South Africa and the USA.
Michael van Uffelen - Non-Executive Director
Michael van Uffelen is an experienced director, CFO and company secretary actively engaged in managing companies. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Western Australia and is a Chartered Accountant with more than 30 years’ experience gained with major accounting firms, investment banks and public companies. Michael was formerly the Company Secretary and CFO of Anson and is very familiar with Anson’s activities and ambitions, particularly Anson’s Paradox Lithium Project in Utah, USA.