Bonanza Drilling Rig 1 just drilled the second targeted lithium well in Saskatchewan, for Grounded Lithium. Photo courtesy Grounded Lithium

COLEVILLE, CALGARY – On Aug. 2, a new lithium exploration company, Grounded Lithium Corp., was wrapping up its first targeted lithium well. It’s the first in what the company is calling their Kindersley Lithium Project (KLP).

That makes Grounded just the second company in Saskatchewan to specifically drill for lithium, as opposed to oil, gas, potash or helium. A little under a year ago, Prairie Lithium was the first, having drilled its initial exploration well near Torquay.

Thus, this well is just the second lithium well drilled in this province to date, seeking lithium-rich brines for extraction.

Grounded is a new lithium explorer, but the company’s roots in oil and gas go back deep. The company was founded two years ago by 2009 Saskatchewan Oilman of the Year Gregg Smith (president and CEO), who was COO of PetroBakken, and Greg Phaneuf (VP finance, CFO), former CFO of Seven Generations, Energy. Both have extensive resumes in oil and gas. The management team now includes Dale Shipman, VP operations; Geoff Speers, VP exploration and Wayne Gaskin, VP geophysics.

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The company is headquartered in Calgary, and has nearly 250 sections of land under a combination of freehold and Crown permits that convert to leases upon work commitments in west central Saskatchewan for lithium development.

The area where they are working, northeast of Coleville and between Kindersley and Kerrobert, is close to where Prairie Lithium did some of its initial lithium recovery research. According to CAEOC data, the well is at 04-15-032-23-W3.

Phaneuf said by phone on Aug. 2 that the well is a tight hole. Bonanza Drilling Inc. is the drilling contractor.

Grounded Lithium’s first targeted lithium well was drilled near Coleville. Photo courtesy Grounded Lithium

 

The company’s July 28 press release noted, “The test well’s design allows for an inexpensive and quick turnaround to convert it to a producing well at the appropriate development stage to either service a field pilot and/or ultimately form part of a more comprehensive well portfolio that supplies feedstock to a commercial plant. The test well achieves a dual-fold purpose: (1) provide current samples to test lithium concentrations in the company’s KLP, and (2) confirm the reservoir quality and associated brine deliverability on a per well basis. These two parameters significantly drive project economics. Results of the test well will be communicated once completed by independent third parties, in the case of lab results for concentrations, or subsequent detailed well modeling by both internal and external parties on deliverability conclusions.”

The company is in the process of going public, wrapping up a strategic combination with VAR Resources Corp, traded on the TSX Venture Exchange. That combination was announced in February.

The company is pursuing the Duperow formation, which, according to several industry presentations at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference last May, has by far the highest concentration of lithium in its brines. In Alberta, the Duperow is referred to as the Leduc formation. If that name sounds familiar, it’s the formation that produced Western Canada’s first gusher, Leduc No. 1, which kicked off major development of oil and gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

E3 Lithium, an Alberta lithium explorer, is working on the Leduc formation in that province.

This well is a “one off, at the present time,” Phaneuf said, but in their budget they have plans for additional wells, including $2.55 million planned for drilling, completion and re-entries. He can’t comment on whether they’ve done any re-entries yet.

He pointed to their collective long history in the oilpatch. “Clearly there’s a symbiotic relationship, if you want to call it that, between a lithium company and oil and gas companies who have suspended and abandoned wells. And you know, those are prime candidates, depending on certain operational characteristics, that we might want to look at; to take over and thereby reduce the asset retirement obligation for oil and gas companies. So it’s a win-win, really,” Phaneuf said.

 

Watch for in-depth coverage on Pipeline Online coming soon.

 

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