Within the Alberta Lithium permit area, E3 has outlined 3 resources as outlined in the Table Below. E3 Metals has one of the largest lithium resources amongst its lithium peers with 7.0 Million Tonnes (Mt) of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE), hosted in the world-class Leduc Aquifer. This covers only a third of the Company’s permit area in south-central Alberta.
E3 has recently outlined a PEA over the Clearwater Project Area.
E3's Permit Area
|Average Lithium Grade
||5.5 x 109
||3.3 x 109
||9.8 x 109
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Occurring about 2,500 metres below the surface, the Leduc Formation is an extensively dolomitized ancient reef complex that spans 100’s of square kilometres in area and is over 200 metres thick. The Leduc’s large extent provides the company an opportunity to continually expand development into the future.
Historically, the Leduc has demonstrated exceptional flow rates and deliverability due to favourable rock properties and pressure. The aquifer is extremely well understood due to decades of historical oil and gas development in the area.
The Clearwater Resource area is located in the south-central portion of E3’s Permit area. In 2017, E3 Metals delineated a maiden inferred lithium resource at Clearwater of 1.9 Million Tonnes LCE. In 2020, with the release of the Clearwater PEA, the resource was increased to 2.2 Million Tonnes LCE within the Leduc Aquifer at an average lithium concentration of 74 mg/L.
Clearwater Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA)
E3 completed a NI 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Clearwater Project in 2020. The following sections summarize the Clearwater Project. Please refer to the NI43-101 Report for details*, or the report is also located at www.sedar.com.
Summary of Clearwater PEA Economics
The PEA is preliminary in nature and the cost estimate includes inferred mineral resources. These are considered too geologically speculative to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty the Clearwater Project outlined by the PEA will be realized.
Geology and Brine Production
The Leduc Aquifer is an expansive ancient reef complex with excellent rock properties, occurring over 2km in the subsurface in the Clearwater area. Over 7,000 wells have been drilled in E3's broader project area over a 70-year oil and gas development period. Historical data from these wells, supported by E3’s recent sampling campaigns, were used to characterize and model the geology within the resource boundary, as shown in the following schematic.
Schematic representation highlighting the relationships of the geology, structure, and hydrocarbon pools. (PEA Figure 7.4)
Based on this data, a preliminary well network design was developed. Using a pair of well pads, lithium-enriched saline formation water will be pumped to a Central Process Facility (CPF). Lithium will be extracted and purified at the CPF, and lithium-barren saline formation water will be reinjected into the aquifer at an injector well pad, as shown schematically below.
Conceptual well network layout (PEA Figure 16-7)
Clearwater Lithium Production Flowsheet
Saline formation water from the well network will be processed through two steps to produce high purity lithium products:
- Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE): the E3 DLE process uses an ion exchange process that efficiently extracts lithium from saline formation water and produces a clean lithium concentrate stream with low levels of unwanted ions.
- Lithium Processing: Using existing commercial technology, the lithium-rich concentrate can be further purified to produce high-grade lithium products through electrolysis and crystallization.
* The PEA is preliminary cost estimate and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too geologically speculative to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty the Clearwater Project outlined by the PEA will be realized. Please refer to the E3 Metals’ News Announcement: November 16, 2020 for more details or find the full technical report here.
Exshaw West Project
The Exshaw West Resource area is located in the northern portion of E3’s Permit area, northeast of Red Deer and south of Camrose. In 2018, E3 Metals delineated a inferred lithium resource of 3.9 Million Tonnes LCE within the Leduc Aquifer at an average lithium concentration of 75 mg/L.
The Rocky Resource area is located in the southwestern portion of E3’s Permit area. In 2017, E3 Metals delineated a inferred lithium resource of 0.9 Million Tonnes LCE within the Leduc Aquifer at an average lithium concentration of 52.9 mg/L.
Unless otherwise indicated, Elizabeth Lappin, P. Geo., Vice President of Exploration at E3 Metals Corp. and a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and is responsible for the geoscience-related technical information contained in this website.