Anson Resources (ASX: ASN) has intercepted a large, supersaturated zone of brine at its Paradox project in Utah during the latest round of exploration.
The free flow of brine from 6,220 feet below surface, identified during re-entry drilling at the project’s Skyline Unit 1 well, continued for six hours until the horizon was temporarily shut in.
The flow rate was measured at 123 barrels an hour with pressure at the surface of the tubing recording 1,700psi.
As such, for a brine of 10.5 pounds per gram to flow to the surface, Anson calculated the pressure at 6,220 feet would be 5,121psi.
Anson suspects the flow of the brine to surface without pumping indicates there is significant pressure within the clastic zone, consistent with the flow experienced at the company’s Cane Creek 32-1 well.
“The flow to surface is a significant development and the pressure required to bring the supersaturated brine to surface is considered to be comparable to that recorded at the Cane Creek well re-entered in 2018 by Anson and the Long Canyon No 1 well which has a historic grade of 500 parts per million lithium,” the company added.
Anson said it would now assay the brine for lithium, bromine, iodine and other minerals, with results expected towards the end of next month.
The data obtained is set to contribute to a future JORC resource estimate.
Pilot plant design underway
Anson’s exploration efforts at Paradox are currently focused on the southern area where historical high-grade lithium assays were recorded in the 1960s.
The latest work represents the third re-entry of an existing oil well following re-entry drilling at Cane Creek 32-1 well in 2018.
In addition to delineating a future resource, the company expects information gathered during the drilling program will help it determine the preferred area from which to extract brine for future processing in the industrial scale pilot plant.
The plant, currently in the design and engineering stage, encompasses Lilac Solutions’ technology and ion exchange method.
Once the pilot plant is up and running, samples will also be continuously fed through the bench top test work, resulting in additional lithium carbonate product becoming available for testing.
“The product can then be offered to off-take partners and/or battery manufacturers for analysis as the next step towards commercial off-take agreements,” the company said.
Anson’s shares were 3.6% higher to $0.086 in morning trade.