Photo of an abandoned oil well with pressure valve (source: Arman Zhenikeyev)
Today, Voltaic Minerals Corp. (TSX.V: VLT) announced to have confirmed historic brine flow from 5 oil and gas production wells on its 100% controlled Green Energy Project in Utah, USA. The company now intends to enter the brine system via existing production wells on the property in order to perform a bulk sampling program to confirm the presence of the lithium-bearing zone and to obtain data (e.g. flow rates, temperature, metallurgy and mineral composition). The sampled brine will be processed with the "Selective Lithium Extraction" technique developed by Enertrex Corp. As per today´s press-release:
"The recent data supports the Company's 3D model Phase 1 Work Program in confirming the historic presence of brine from Clastic Unit #14 along with several other potential zones spanning the Project acreage. Oil & gas consultants analyzed over 50 years' worth of oil & gas daily drilling reports, mud logs and well files from the Project and confirmed that brine flow in the wells originated from multiple horizons including Clastic Units #9, #10, #14, and #15. The target horizon as outlined in the 3D model, Clastic Unit #14, was intercepted in 3 of the 5 wells at an average depth of 6250 feet [1,905 m] and occupied an average thickness of 20 feet [6 m]. Clastic Unit #14, is an evaporate cycle which was discovered during historic drilling by Dr. John E Garret and several oil & gas companies when they experienced blowouts of over-pressurised brine systems due to its intersection. Lithium grades were reported up to as high as 187 mg/l on the property and up to 1700 mg/l 150 meters east of the Green Energy Lithium Project.
Voltaic Minerals Corp. will continue working with its oil & gas consultants to obtain access to the existing well head structures on the Project and enter the intricate system of brines. Utilizing the 3D model and the data disclosed herein, the Company intends to perform a bulk sampling work program to confirm the presence of the lithium bearing zone and associated brine data including but not limited to flow rates, temperature, and metallurgy. In addition, the Company intends to execute on its milestones of processing of the Green Energy Lithium Project brines using its Selective Lithium process with Enertrex Corp."
With 38 million shares issued and outstanding, and a current market capitalization of $3 million CAD, Voltaic is about to perform a bulk sampling program to commence testing and optimizing the Selective Lithium Extraction Process. Many other lithium brine juniors, with relatively high valuations, have been attempting, for quite some time, to find lithium brine zones with capital and time intensive exploration programs, not to speak of having a processing technology in hand (other than traditional solar evaporation, which in many cases is unlikely to be seriously considered).
In stark contrast, the Green Energy Project is more advanced as production wells already exist on the property with vast historic data indicating several lithium brine zones, which are about to be re-entered and bulk sampled. This will be a major milestone for Voltaic and will set it apart even more drastically from other lithium brine juniors in the space. The company is moving fast and straight to process development and optimization of its Green Energy Project.
On November 24, Voltaic has appointed Thomas Currin, a Chemical Engineer, to its Board of Directors, who is partner with Enertrex Corp; the company which has developed the Selective Lithium Extraction Process. Having worked 15 years with the lithium cartel member FMC Corp. (NYSE: FMC; market cap.: $7.9 billion USD), he clearly has an extensive background in process development and project management implementation. His last position at FMC was Division Production Coordinator of the company´s Lithium Division. Dr. Jonathan Hykawy, President of Stormcrow Capital Ltd., provided the following statement on November 24 shortly after Voltaic´s press-release appointing Tom Currin to its board:
"Almost every major lithium exploration initiative in the world today depends on the same, old types of resources, from the same regions, using the same old types of extraction technologies. For example, there are a horde of companies looking at extracting brine from dry salt lakes in the Andean altiplano in South America, or from the playa in Nevada. And there are a horde of companies examining the mining of low-grade spodumene ore in Australia, and elsewhere, so that it can be leached with acids to produce lithium. What Voltaic is doing, which combines potentially high-grade oilfield brines with new processing technology that bypasses evaporation, is very interesting. Not only does this potentially use unconventional sources of lithium, it might allow the industry to diversify the regions from which lithium is produced. And these oilfield brines are abundantly available. Yes, it's early days, but this is a really high-value path for exploration and research."
According to Voltaic:
"The Selective technique varies from traditional solar evaporation methods and has the potential to revolutionize Lithium processing as it stands today. The Lithium Selective technique could have the potential to efficiently process Lithium-bearing brines of differing metallurgy from various sources."
To find out more about Enertrex´s Selective Lithium Extraction Technique, Tom Currin´s background and Voltaic´s work program (consisting of 3 phases, each lasting about 90 days; whereas phase-1 has already begun), read Rockstone Report #7 "Cutting Edge in the Lithium Space" and Report #6 "Voltaic Minerals partners up to demonstrate a lithium processing plant within 9 months":
Cutting Edge in the Lithium Space
Report #7 (November 24, 2016)
Voltaic Minerals partners up to demonstrate a lithium processing plant within 9 months
Report #6 (November 1, 2016)
Voltaic Minerals Corp.
Suite 1450 - 789 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1H2 Canada
Phone: +1 604 681 1568
Shares in the market: 38,229,135
Canada Symbol (TSX.V): VLT
Current Price: $0.09 CAD (12/09/2016)
Market Capitalization: $3 million CAD
Germany Symbol/ WKN (Tradegate): 2P61 / A2AG5Q
Current Price: €0.062 EUR (12/09/2016)
Market Capitalization: €2 million EUR
Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist.
Disclosure: I am/we are long TSX.V:VLT.