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TerraVolta Announces Investment, Lithium Well in Smackover Formation

2 min read

TerraVolta Resources LLC of Houston, backed by the private Energy &  Minerals Group, has drilled a successful lithium appraisal and supply well in the Smackover geological formation.

TerraVolta announced Monday that EMG, a major global investor in natural resources, has taken majority ownership of  the mineral explorer and production company. The minerals company said the investment allowed it to “secure a significant strategic position in the Smackover Formation complemented” by the new well. The company said the well validates the quality of the company’s resource, including “industry-leading lithium concentrations.

The company did not identify the well’s location, but has said it operates in Arkansas and Texas.

CEO Jamie Liang and Chief Technology Officer Ross Tompson founded the company in 2022 along with Nicholas Muscara, vice president, land and business development. The company touts itself as an early entry in the race to build a battery lithium industry in the Smackover Formation. The area has attracted other mineral players like Standard Lithium of Vancouver, British Columbia, Exxon Mobil and Tetra Technologies of Texas, and Albemarle of Charlotte, North Carolina.

All have announced lithium production goals in south Arkansas and east Texas.

CEO’s Take

Liang, TerraVolta’s chief, said in a statement that the company was proud to announce its resource and its “connection with a significant investment by one of the largest and most sophisticated energy investors.” 

He said his team had used advanced subsurface analysis to identify the Smackover as “a compelling prospect for lithium and other critical mineral development.”

The brine that companies are pumping up from deep below the earth’s surface are also rich in bromine, a valuable flame retardant that Arkansas wells have produced since the 1950s.

“Our land team has spent years accumulating these assets and has built a world-class position,” Liang said. “The successful drilling and completion of our brine supply well validates the quality of our resource and enables the Company to advance to our piloting phase as we aggressively aim for commercial production. 

The company CEO said its lithium projects will “enable the U.S. to build out a domestic battery supply chain and reduce our reliance on foreign sources.”

John Raymond, executive chairman of EMG, said the investment represents the group’s low-carbon prosperity strategy. “We develop high quality, economically viable resources focused on the critical input commodities required to achieve global decarbonization goals,” Raymond said in a news release. “To this end, given the large scale, concentrated acreage position assembled over the past year complemented by the successful drilling results, we believe the TerraVolta platform has the potential to become a key source of lithium for the U.S. battery industry.”

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