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Hits continue for Lithium Energy at Argentine project

Updated: Apr 30


Lithium Energy continues to record impressive results from drilling at its Solaroz lithium brine project in Argentina. Credit: File

Lithium Energy has hit conductive brines at its Solaroz lithium brine project in Argentina, with a sixth hole sunk at the site now intersecting the upper aquifer from 150m in South America’s “Lithium Triangle”.


The company says the current lithology in hole six is similar to its fourth hole, 2.5km to the east, where it recorded concentrations of up to 508 milligrams per litre lithium.


Lithium Energy has three drill rigs operating at Solaroz and aimed at completing its fourth, fifth and sixth holes. Management says drilling to date has encountered massive intersections of lithium-rich brines in the upper and lower aquifers of up to 473.5m thick and lithium concentrations of up to 555mg/l.


Based on the interpretation of previously-conducted geophysical surveys, the company expects to drill its sixth hole to a target depth of about 580 metres below surface to test the extent of lithium mineralisation.


Its current campaign will total 10 holes for 5000m in search of conductive brines. The program is designed to reveal some of the geochemical makeup of the brine and to assist with further targeting by unlocking information on its distribution and the physical parameters of the different hydrogeological units.


Lithium Energy says assay results to date have also confirmed that lithium concentrations are generally increasing at depth, indicating a hydraulically-linked system with heavier lithium-rich brines settling lower into the aquifer.


The company has already outlined a conceptual target at Solaroz, following a comprehensive study of historical geophysical and drilling data related to the zone’s brines. The figure ranges between 1.5 million and 8.7 million tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent, with average grades of between 500 and 700mg/l lithium.


The Solaroz brine project takes in about 12,000 hectares in South America’s renowned Lithium Triangle. The zone is projected to host about a third of the world’s lithium resources in underground bodies of fluid known as brines and is nestled between Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.


The Perth-based company, along with Allkem and Lithium Americas, controls the brine basin, which is renowned for being a low-cost, low-impurity and high-margin lithium producer. Allkem produces 42,500 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and Lithium Americas is building a 40,000 tonnes per annum LCE plant. Allkem recently announced total resources of 27 million tonnes of LCE in its Olaroz holdings.


Allkem’s blockbuster US$10.6 billion (AU$15.7 billion) merger with lithium processor Livent last month is designed to create an integrated lithium chemicals producer with the world’s third-highest LCE sales. Lithium Energy says the move is evidence of the premium value being placed on large-scale projects in Argentina, which is regarded as having the most supportive jurisdiction for production in South America.


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