Standard Lithium Ltd. has announced the appointment of Michael “Mike” Barman as chief development officer, effective Sunday.
“Mike adds extensive and impressive commercial experience to our leadership team with his long career in advising and financing companies in the energy transition sector,” said Robert Mintak, CEO and director of Standard Lithium. “His appointment is timely given the late-stage discussions underway with a broad array of industry leaders and household names on our portfolio of projects.”
Standard Lithium is making substantial strides in advancing critical minerals production in the United States, and this has garnered significant interest from global OEMs, battery manufacturers and energy companies.
The company’s Phase 1A near El Dorado, and the South West Arkansas Project south of Lewisville, are the most advanced lithium brine projects in the United States. The company has successfully demonstrated that its lithium extraction technologies are capable of extracting high purity lithium chloride from Smackover brines through the continuous testing and operation of its Demonstration Plant over the last three years.
The Phase 1A Project located in El Dorado is the first commercial direct lithium extraction project of its kind. The recently completed Phase 1A Definitive Feasibility Study contemplates production of 5,400 tonnes per annum (“tpa”) of lithium carbonate over a 25-year operating life. Phase 1A represents the first new commercial lithium production from brine in the United States in six decades and is expected to double US lithium production beginning in 2026.
The company also recently completed a Pre-Feasibility Study for the SWA Project, demonstrating an after-tax net present value in excess of US$3.1 billion with at least 30,000 tpa of lithium hydroxide produced over a 20-year operating life.
Standard Lithium said in a statement that completion of the technical studies represents substantial progress in future contribution to the U.S. critical minerals supply chain, underscoring the company’s pivotal role in meeting the growing demand for responsibly sourced United States lithium production.
Barman said, “I’m very excited to join Standard Lithium on the cusp of commercializing the first of its lithium projects in the United States. I believe Standard Lithium will play a leading role in shaping the lithium supply chain in North America and has attracted the interest of several world-class companies such as Koch Industries. I am eager to work with this team to deliver on opportunities that advance the business and add value to Standard Lithium over the long-term.”
Barman has nearly 20 years of experience advising senior executives and their boards, most recently as a managing director in Investment Banking at Stifel Nicolaus Canada Inc.
While at Stifel, he advised on over 30 mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions with a combined value exceeding $22 billion. He also led or co-led over 80 public and private financings, raising more than $10 billion in equity and debt capital.
Barman holds a master of financial economics from the Rotman School of Management and the Department of Economics at the University of Toronto. He also earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Toronto and received the C.L. Burton Open Scholarship for academic excellence.