- Four-hole drill project in famed Lithium Triangle nearing completion
- First assay of Lithium Chile’s underway drill project shows results on par with average grades in neighboring Argentina exploration
- Lithium Chile may alter drill plan to probe to greater depths and add fifth hole to project as a result of first hole analysis
Test results have identified important lithium-bearing brines in the first hole drilled as part of a four-hole lithium-seeking project in Chile’s Salar de Ollague, fueling excitement about the project and expectations that the other three holes could further identify the zone as a potentially significant mineralization discovery for Lithium Chile Inc. (TSX.V: LITH) (OTCQB: LTMCF).
Lithium Chile announced on August 23 that the drill project is validating the results of a transient electromagnetic survey (“TEM”) completed in March that revealed the zone’s potential as a source for the lightweight metal regarded as so critical for modern computerized devices worldwide — especially for powering electric vehicles now that a major upturn in that industry is expected during the coming decade (http://nnw.fm/ZAx3V).
Initial drill site testing of the core and liquid samples retrieved from Hole DDH-OLL-01-18 showed that the project had struck a continuous 180-meter salinity zone beginning at a depth of 110 meters. The August 23 news release states that the assay of the drill hole at internationally accredited laboratory ALS Patagonia’s nearby facilities returned results of up to 480 mg/L of lithium, with an average grade over the last 60 meters of 470 mg/L lithium.
In the news release, Lithium Chile President and CEO Steve Cochrane noted that the assays “rival the average grades in Argentina” and that he is “delighted” the first results of the company’s drilling activity are already showing promise. The company also believes that the results may have been diluted by drilling fluids and fresher water uphole from the salinity zone, leaving open the possibility of higher grades with actual production at the site.
Assay results are expressed in measurements of milligrams per liter (mg/L) or parts per million (ppm) equivalents showing the amount of lithium found at brine-friendly salars (dry lake beds). Economically productive lithium finds may result from brines with concentrations beginning at a few hundred mg/L. Albermarle’s huge lithium brine mine in the United States is founded over finds between 190 and 200 mg/L (http://nnw.fm/r4QU3). A test well less than a mile from DDH-OLL-01-18 returned fluid results assayed at 1,220 mg/L of lithium.
Lithium has become an in-demand metal because of the critical heat-reducing function it plays in the modern lithium-ion batteries that power everything from smartphones to environmentally friendly automobiles. Demand for lithium is expected to triple during the coming decade, with most of the new growth occurring in the electronics industry, according to minerals research agency Roskill (http://nnw.fm/2anrC).
Chile is a significant area for mineral exploration in the famed “Lithium Triangle” that also encompasses Argentina and Bolivia. The second hole in Lithium Chile’s four-hole project was drilled in what the TEM identified as the shallower southwestern edge of the Ollague salar, near DDH-OLL-01-18. The third and fourth holes are nearer the center of the salar, where the company expects to find the mineralization continuous to deeper regions.
Core and liquid samples from the second site are being assayed, the drilling for the third hole has been completed and the fourth drill hole is in progress. Because the first hole showed increasing grades of lithium as the drill reached lower depths, Lithium Chile is evaluating the feasibility of going deeper than planned with the fourth hole and even adding a new, deeper drill hole to the project, according to the news release.
The company’s portfolio includes sections of 14 salars and one laguna (surface water) complex in Chile, covering some 377,824 acres (152,900 hectares). Once the current four-hole exploration is completed, it plans to start similar projects at four other advanced-stage sites, potentially wrapping up before the end of Q3.
For more information, visit the company’s website at http://nnw.fm/LTMCF
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