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The Paradox lithium project, in Utah, has the potential to generate up to 7 MW of “green energy” during brine extraction and transportation to the lithium extraction plant, through the inclusion of hydro energy plants.

ASX-listed Anson Resources told shareholders that a hydropower study at its Paradox project had found that up to 4 MW of power could be generated from each of the brine recovery wells at surface, while an additional 3 MW could potentially be created at the lithium extraction plant with brine falling vertically 330 m to the processing plant.

“Anson has a commitment to identifying opportunities to lower its environmental disturbance and carbon emissions with the use of technology. From the commencement of development of the Paradox lithium project, Anson has sought technologies to reach this objective. This has included the use of direct extraction technology rather than traditional ponds,” said executive chairperson and CEO Bruce Richardson.

“Harnessing naturally occurring pressure to bring brine to surface rather than pumping using carbon-based fuels and then using pressure at the well-head to generate electricity is another example of how Anson is seeking to reduce emissions.

“Generating hydropower from the vertical fall from the recovery point to the production site is a further example of how the company is seeking to achieve its low carbon intensity targets. Anson is committed to building a lithium extraction process that will meet the standards for emissions that will be set in 20 years, not those set 20 years ago. The potential to utilise hydropower provides not only the ability to assist us in reaching this goal but also provides the company with a cost advantage compared to its competitors.”

Front-end engineering work currently being undertaken at Paradox will further examine the option to include hydropower generation as part of the project’s overall power supply strategy.

A previously completed definitive feasibility study into the Paradox project estimated that the Phase 1 operation could produce 13 074 t/y of high-purity lithium carbonate, delivering revenues of $5.05-billion over its 23 years of operation.

The project is anticipated to require a capital investment of $495-million, and C1 operating costs have been estimated at $4 368/t of lithium carbonate, with average yearly earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation estimated at $153-million.