The installation of small-scale hydroelectric units could reduce carbon emissions, improve ESG credentials and reduce operating costs at Anson Resources Limited’s Paradox Lithium Project, a study has found. 

A hydropower energy recovery study was conducted by the Worley Group at Anson’s Paradox project in the Paradox Basin in Utah, US. The study was completed outside the scope of the Definitive Feasibility Study and was designed to identify opportunities to utilise the hydraulic power of brine flowing from the wells and utilise the energy generated by brine being transported to the production location, from the top to the bottom of a canyon – 330m – to the processing plant. 

The results of the study indicated that small scale hydro power units could be installed to capture useable energy from both. Previous engineering studies indicated that the pressure of the brine at a depth of approximately 2000m was measured and recorded as approximately 4,500psi, and was sufficient to lift the brine to surface without mechanical pumping. It also indicated that the energy was not exhausted at the top of the well, as the pressure was measured at 1,700psi at this point. 

The Worley hydro power energy study identified that each of the recovery wells could be connected to a small Pelton Pit Turbine to create hydropower. Based on the study and available information, up to 4MW of power may be generated using small Pelton Pit Turbines.

In addition, the Worley study identified that power may also be generated as the brine enters the lithium extraction and processing plant. A small powerhouse would need to be constructed to house the turbine and generator to produce up to 3MW of power.

The Front End Engineering Design (FEED) currently being undertaken will further examine the option to include hydro power generation as part of the Project’s overall power supply strategy.

“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,” Anson’s Executive Chairman and CEO, Mr Bruce Richardson commented. “This has included the use of Direct Extraction technology rather than traditional ponds. 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 hydro power 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.”