- Promising results from the first four exploration holes at Ollague Property have encouraged additional exploration scheduled to begin in September 2018
- The fifth Ollague hole will increase the exploration depth from the current 250 meters to 500 meters
- The new development is coming amid growing demand for lithium and projections for an increase in lithium prices by 2021
Lithium Chile Inc. (TSX.V: LITH) (OTCQB: LTMCF), the largest private owner of lithium-rich land in Chile, has been approved for a fifth hole at its Ollague Property, extending the drilling depth from the current 250 meters to 500 meters. The decision is based on strong indicators from the first four drilling holes, according to a company press release (http://nnw.fm/YZ0oI).
The four exploration holes originally planned for Ollague have been completed, and the results from the first one, announced on August 23, 2018, indicated grades in the brine ranging up to 480 mg/l of lithium. The grades increased steadily from 120 meters to the final depth of 300 meters.
Results for the remaining holes are pending, but, based on preliminary information and the data collected from the first exploration hole, Lithium Chile has decided to pursue a fifth hole. Its location will be in the center of the basin, just north of the third and fourth holes.
Road and pad construction have both been completed, following successful surface access negotiations. Drilling was planned to start on September 4. The top 50 meters of the hole will be cased to prevent up hole caving and to also reduce the amount of contamination of the deeper brine. The bigger target depth of 500 meters will allow the company to explore levels of the salar that haven’t been tested before.
Lithium Chile president and CEO Steve Cochrane said that the fifth Ollague hole drilling confirms the positive data collected from the four exploration holes and also suggests the property’s potential to be a great discovery in the field of lithium production.
The new announcement comes at a time when the forecast for lithium production is more than positive. The lithium demand was set at 220,000 tons of lithium-carbonate equivalent in 2017. This number is projected to go up to 900,000 tons in 2025 and two million tons by 2030, according to research and data firm Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, quoted by Bloomberg (http://nnw.fm/Lqw5G).
Lithium-ion battery makers will drive the increase in demand, contributing to a 650 percent increase from current levels by 2027 as the electric vehicle market continues to expand. Because of the steady demand, lithium prices are expected to peak in 2018 and register a slight decline in 2019 due to the greater supply of mined lithium entering the market. A new peak beyond the 2018 level is expected in 2021, Roskill’s lithium market outlook report shows (http://nnw.fm/yI283).
Lithium Chile is currently working on advancing its lithium property portfolio. The portfolio consists of 15 projects that encompass 155,800 hectares covering sections of 14 salars and one laguna in Chile. The lithium-rich salars in Chile are recognized for the high-grade reserves and the lowest cost production in the world. All of the projects are characterized by excellent chemistry lithium brines at shallow depths. The necessary infrastructure has been added to ensure effortless access to the locations.
For more information, visit the company’s website at http://nnw.fm/LTMCF
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