Pantera Minerals Limited (ASX:PFE) continues to strengthen its foothold in the Southwest Arkansas lithium sector through a substantial expansion of the Superbird Lithium Brine Project, marking an 11% increase in leased acreage, to a total of 13,457 acres.
Figure 1: Superbird Project location showing proximity to adjacent lithium brine projects
Exclusive Abstract Agreement
Since Pantera’s initial investment, the Superbird Lithium Project has increased materially from 5,325 acres to now cover a land position of 13,457 leased acres, an increase of 152%.
Integral to this growth is the strategic Exclusive Abstract Agreement, covering 50,000 acres, forged with a commercial abstract company as the exclusive provider of mineral ownership abstract information for the project area.
This agreement plays a pivotal role in securing lithium brine leases by streamlining access to mineral ownership records, ensuring accurate confirmation of owners, and facilitating the proper execution of leases with the correct mineral rights holders.
In the United States, where mineral rights can be distinct from surface rights, delving into records dating back to the 1800s becomes essential for precise ownership confirmation.
The Exclusive Abstract Agreement offers a distinct advantage, enabling the Superbird Lithium Project to efficiently obtain accurate mineral ownership information compared to competitors, particularly considering the time-consuming and labour-intensive nature of the process.
Notably, the Exploration Target identified for the Project pertains specifically to the 50,000 acres covered by this agreement, positioning the Company ahead of competitors in the swift securing of lithium brine leases.
Pantera formally entered a Binding Implementation Agreement with Daytona Lithium Pty Ltd, the entity holding the Superbird Lithium Brine Project.
This agreement outlines Pantera’s intention to acquire 100% of the issued share capital of Daytona Lithium, signalling a strategic consolidation of assets.
Notably, Pantera currently holds the right to acquire a substantial 35% interest in Daytona Lithium’s issued share capital through a $2 million Convertible Note Facility.
Daytona Lithium has outlined a conceptual Exploration Target for the Superbird Project, spanning 436,000 to 2,966,000 tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) within the Project’s 50,000-acre Exclusive Abstract Area.
This estimate is grounded in lithium concentrations ranging from 225 mg/L to 450 mg/L, with a median value of 338mg/L, underscoring the Project’s potential for world-class scale.
However, it is crucial to note that the Exploration Target’s potential quantity and grade remain conceptual, lacking JORC compliant Mineral Resource estimates due to insufficient exploration.
Situated in the Smackover Formation in South-West Arkansas, the Superbird Project finds itself in close proximity to major players in the lithium industry, including Exxon Mobil, Standard Lithium, Tetra Technologies, and Albemarle Corporation.
Figure 2: Superbird Lithium Project location within the Smackover Formation
Renowned lithium expert Mr. Joe Lowry has highlighted the Smackover as the prime location for Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) projects.
This endorsement aligns with Exxon Mobil’s expansive lithium brine project, spanning 120,000 acres and targeting an impressive production of 75,000 to 100,000 tonnes per annum of LCE.
In parallel, Standard Lithium, with its upcoming Lanxess Project and South-West Arkansas Project, is poised for production by 2026, adding substantial weight to the region’s overall significance in the lithium industry.
Pantera Minerals’ Chief Executive Officer Matt Hansen reflected on the increased leased acreage.
“The leasing strategy implemented for the Superbird Project continues to deliver, surpassing an impressive 13,400 acres through the strategic utilisation of the Exclusive 50,000-acre Abstract Agreement,” he said.
“The recently announced independently estimated Exploration Target of 436,000 to 2,966,000 tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) for the 50,000 acre exclusive abstract area encompassing the Superbird Lithium Brine Project underscores the potential of the Superbird Project to become a project of significance in the United States lithium sector.”
Pending shareholder approval at the General Meeting on February 15, 2024, Pantera anticipates the completion of the transaction for the Superbird Lithium Project.
Subsequent plans include re-entering an identified well to assess brine characteristics, conducting DLE tests, acquiring 2D Seismic data for subsurface modelling, and continuing the acquisition of additional project acreage.
PFE’s Australian Securities Exchange share price is currently trading at $0.055 (12:30pm UTC+ 8 hours).