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Standard Lithium gets $100 million investment boost from Koch

Standard Lithium Ltd. (TSXV: SLI) (NYSE: SLI) announced Wednesday that Koch Strategic Platforms (KSP), a subsidiary of Koch Investments Group, is set to make a $100 million investment in the company through a direct private placement to support its strategic development goals.

The direct investment follows extensive due diligence by KSP into Standard Lithium’s LiSTR direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology, demonstration plant and project development objectives.

Standard Lithium’s flagship project is located in southern Arkansas, where it is engaged in the testing and proving of the commercial viability of lithium extraction from over 150,000 acres of permitted brine operations.

An industrial-scale DLE demonstration plant has been commissioned at Lanxess’s south plant facility in southern Arkansas. The demonstration plant utilizes Standard Lithium’s proprietary LiSTR technology to selectively extract lithium from Lanxess’s tail brine.

According to Standard Lithium, this scalable, environmentally friendly process eliminates the use of evaporation ponds, reduces processing time from months to hours and greatly increases the effective recovery of lithium.

Under the private placement, KSP will acquire approximately 13.48 million common shares of Standard Lithium at a price of C$9.43 ($7.42) per share, representing gross proceeds of C$127 million ($100 million).

Proceeds of the investment will be used by Standard Lithium to continue advancing the first commercial project proposed for the Lanxess facility, as well as to accelerate and expand the development of its South West Arkansas lithium project, comprising 30,000 acres of separate brine leases.

The funds would also allow the company to continue to develop and commercialize modern lithium extraction and processing technologies, and allow for strategic project expansions.

In addition to the new capital, Standard Lithium said it is exploring opportunities to work with several Koch Industries subsidiaries in key areas of alignment with the company’s project development needs.

These potentially include working with Koch Engineered Solutions (KES), which provides key process equipment, engineering, procurement and construction services; and Koch Minerals & Trading (KM&T), which is involved in the trading of many of the materials that will be required by the company in the future, as well as the lithium products it intends to produce.

Commenting on the new investment, Standard Lithium CEO Robert Mintak stated: “We’re entering an important phase for Standard Lithium, and we’re thrilled to be starting it with a globally recognized industrial leader like Koch Strategic Platforms as a partner.”

“KSP has an impressive track record of investing in disruptive technologies, and their backing is an important endorsement of the company’s core technology, development plans and of our intent to make the Gulf Region a leading supplier of lithium resources,” Mintak added.

Shares of Standard Lithium surged 11.8% by 12:30 p.m. in Toronto following the KSP investment, giving the lithium development company a market value of C$1.83 billion.

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