- Assays are expected from brine extraction at the project
- A JORC resource estimate for minerals such as lithium, bromine, boron and iodine is forthcoming
- In-field plant results are expected to continue
What does Anson Resources do?
Anson Resources Ltd (ASX:ASN) (FRA:9MY) specialises in brine-based minerals extraction exploration in the US. It is run by executive chairman and CEO Bruce Richardson, a corporate leader and former Australian trade commissioner who has more than 30 years experience on his CV.
Richardson has focused on the resources industry for eight years and was chief executive officer of Top Iron Pty Ltd and chairman of a government relations subcommittee for the WA Australia China Business Council. He was previously an Australian trade commissioner in China for 10 years.
What does Anson Resources own?
The brines found in the Paradox Basin brines at the project are prospective for lithium, along with bromine, iodine and boron.
Paradox is positioned near vital transport infrastructure such as interstate highways and railways, as well as energy infrastructure such as gas and power lines.
Anson is assessing how to incorporate bromine and iodine recovery processes into an in-field pilot plant at the lithium brine project to add more to its value.
Hazen Research Inc has conducted bench-scale test work on boron, bromine and iodine from Paradox Basin brine extracted from the project, showing each high-value product can be successfully recovered from the brine using established technologies.
The price for bromine was tracking up to US$4,500 a short ton last month after lower levels of US$3,500/ton were seen in the commodity cycle in 2015. Iodine was about US$26,500/ton in 2017.
The US is a major producer of both minerals.
Anson has also recently demonstrated that a five-stage extraction process can recover 89% of boric acid.
Boron in the form of borates are used in more than 300 applications with over 75% of world consumption used in ceramics, detergents, fertilisers and glass.
The company has been in discussions with a number of parties interested in the by-products, which could open the door to multiple revenue streams.
It has been looking at improving product recovery and reagent consumptions, work it expects would inform a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for a commercial plant for its project.
Anson hopes to determine how it can potentially incorporate product production in the design of an industrial scale in-field pilot plant underway at its project.
On Tuesday, the company revealed it had achieved the deepest result of brine from its exploration program since it started.
The zone of heated and pressurised supersaturated brine was intersected at 6,318 feet.
A flow rate of 35 barrels per hour of heated brine was recorded from Long Canyon No 2 well and the well continued to flow consistently for 10 hours until the horizon was temporarily shut-in.
It is the second and final re-entry of an existing oil well to be carried out by Anson in the third exploration program at the Paradox project to sample brines.
The event took place during the company’s fourth re-entry drilling of Clastic 31 at the brine project.
Clastic 31 goes to depths of 7,080 feet at Paradox Basin, a similar depth to the 7,500-8,000-foot depth of the US’ only producing formation for bromine since 2007, the Southern Arkansas’ Upper Jurassic Smackover Formation.
The Southern Arkansas resource puts the US as the second largest producer of bromine after Israel.
The super-saturated Clastic 31 zone horizon averages lithium values of 500ppm, achieving up to 1,700ppm.
Anson’s portfolio includes other brine-bearing clastic zones — 7, 9, 13, 21, 25, 27 and 43 — with 17, 19 and 29 being super-saturated like 31.
Clastic zone 17 had lithium values of up to 339ppm in assaying.
The Chilean desert and the gas fields of Japan and the US state of Oklahoma supply most of the world’s iodine, with brines in Oklahoma and Japan extracting at similar depths to the Paradox brines, being between 6,000 and 10,000 feet.
Anson’s latest brine from testing will be sampled for lithium, bromine, iodine and other minerals and will be used to help estimate a JORC resource.
The company has beefed up its expertise ahead of the estimate, with lithium processing expert Alexander Grant joining the company as a technical advisor in a move unveiled earlier this week.
Grant has also joined the company’s board as non-executive director.
The company had $2.9 million cash at the end of 2018 and expected about $1.5 million of cashflows for the March quarter of 2019.
A $740,000 sum was budgeted for exploration and evaluation, with $250,000 for development.
Anson’s next quarterly reports are expected at the end of April 2019.
Results from next assays for lithium, bromine, iodine and other minerals
JORC resource estimate for minerals such as lithium, bromine and iodine at the project
In-field plant results and successes
Project financing milestones
Prefeasibility study commitment, launch and results
Further feasibility study commitments
Strategic partnerships, portfolio building, or offtake or production take agreements
Executive chairman & CEO Bruce Richardson highlights high brine recoveries
“We’ve been able to get higher recoveries from the iodine and bromine, which is in the brine, together with the lithium at the Paradox Basin project,” executive chairman & CEO Bruce Richardson told Proactive Investors last month.
“We’ve known it’s been there for a while, we have assay results from decades back, plus we have our own assay results from last year … and what we’ve been doing for the past few months is to work out how to recover them the most economical way possible.
“Given that we’ve got 90% bromine recovery and 70% iodine recovery that all looks good as additional revenue streams for the Paradox brine project.”