In a major boost for its 100% owned project, Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) announced today the discovery of multiple lithium brines over a zone of 144 metres (from 172 – 316m) at its Cauchari Lithium Brine Project in Argentina.
In a major boost for its 100% owned project, Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) announced today the discovery of multiple lithium brines over a zone of 144 metres (from 172 – 316m) at its Cauchari Lithium Brine Project in Argentina. The results show the potential for future production, with Cauchari adjoining other projects advancing towards production in the heart of the Lithium Triangle.
Lithium values from 340 to 538 mg/L were returned from multiple high flow brines with low Mg/Li ratios of 2.7- 3.0. The brine zones and target sand horizon were intersected higher in the sequence than expected. The hole was terminated at 460m, after having encountered less permeable clay horizons from 326m with conductive brines at 356m and 386m.
Detailed sampling with a packer instrument is underway from 387m up the hole, to be followed by analysis, casing and geophysics, with the rig next to be moved to Lake’s Olaroz Project to start drilling.
The brine zones confirm continuity from similar brines in adjoining major billion dollar projects progressing to production from 2020 located in the heart of the Lithium Triangle (see Figures 1-6), including Ganfeng/Lithium Americas (LAC) and the Advantage Lithium (AAL)/ Orocobre joint venture that are attracting significant corporate transactions (refer ASX announcement 28 May 2019 for past results from adjoining projects).
Lake’s Managing Director Steve Promnitz said: “Lake has a major discovery here at Cauchari, with the potential to expand the zones in further drilling. The target brine zone has high grades and flow rates but intersected higher than anticipated and has all the same hallmarks of the adjoining project which is now moving into production. This is a great discovery adding to the development projects in the Lithium Triangle.”
“Lake wants to build on these exciting Cauchari results. We next plan to drill for the first time on our leases at Olaroz, which is now a focus given these favourable results and where we are targeting a 30km belt as an extension to the adjoining production area, to show its potential before more drilling at Cauchari.”
“If successful, Olaroz would provide a third advanced project, adding to Cauchari and our world-class Kachi project which will be essential new supply as demand for lithium rises over the next nine years due to the lithiumion battery revolution in energy and transport”
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Figure 1: Section of drillhole at Cauchari with the 144m brine zone, results and geological comments on stratigraphy.
Figure 2: Foraco diamond drill rig (right) and rotary rig at Cauchari overlooking the Cauchari salt lake and development of the adjoining pre-production areas of Ganfeng / Lithium Americas.
Figure 3: Lithium bearing brines flowing out of the drill head (pale yellow upside down cup shape) from high pressure horizons
Figure 4: Location of LKE’s drill operations at Cauchari in relation to Advantage Lithium/Orocobre & Gangfeng/Lithium Americas leases. (Note: The marked boundaries are indicative only. Please refer to the detailed map).
Figure 5: Cauchari Lithium Project, with adjoining Ganfeng / Lithium Americas project and Orocobre / Advantage Lithium project showing interpreted West Fan Unit and the targeted Lower Sand Unit (Orocobre announcement and Advantage Lithium announcement 24/04/19 – Figure 7.10 from NI43-101 report). Lake interprets the western boundary (left hand side) to be steep and faulted rather than dipping 45 degrees as in this diagram.
Figure 6: Cauchari Lithium Project, with adjoining Ganfeng / Lithium Americas combined resource and Orocobre / Advantage Lithium combined resource with (Orocobre announcements 7/11/2017, 4/12/2017, 18/01/2018, 15/03/19; Advantage Lithium announcement 5/3/2018, 10/01/2019, 7/03/19, 24/04/19). (Third Party Resource details summarised in LKE’s ASX announcement dated 6 Sept 2018)
Competent Person’s Statement – Kachi Lithium Brine Project
The information contained in this ASX release relating to Exploration Results has been compiled by Mr Andrew Fulton. Mr Fulton is a Hydrogeologist and a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and the Association of Hydrogeologists. Mr Fulton has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a competent person as defined in the 2012 edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. Andrew Fulton is an employee of Groundwater Exploration Services Pty Ltd and an independent consultant to Lake Resources NL. Mr Fulton consents to the inclusion in this announcement of this information in the form and context in which it appears.
About Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE)
Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE, Lake) is a lithium exploration and development company focused on developing its three lithium brine projects and hard rock project in Argentina, all owned 100%. The leases are in a prime location among the lithium sector’s largest players within the Lithium Triangle, where half of the world’s lithium is produced. Lake holds one of the largest lithium tenement packages in Argentina (~200,000Ha) secured in 2016 prior to a significant ‘rush’ by major companies. The large holdings provide the potential to provide consistent security of supply, scalable as required, which is demanded by battery makers and electric vehicle manufacturers.
The Kachi project covers 69,000 ha over a salt lake south of FMC’s lithium operation and near Albemarle’s Antofalla project in Catamarca Province. Drilling at Kachi has confirmed a large lithium brine bearing basin over 20km long, 15km wide and 400m to 800m deep. Drilling over Kachi (currently 16 drill holes, 3100m) has produced a maiden indicated and inferred resource of 4.4 Mt LCE (Indicated 1.0Mt and Inferred 3.4Mt) (refer ASX announcement 27 November 2018).
A direct extraction technique is being tested in partnership with Lilac Solutions, which has shown 80-90% recoveries and lithium brine concentrations in excess of 25000 mg/L lithium. Phase 1 Engineering Study results have shown operating costs forecast at US$2600/t LCE in the lowest cost quartile (refer ASX announcement 10 December 2018). This process is will be trialed on site with a pilot plant in tandem with conventional methods as part of the PFS underway. Discussions are advanced with a number of downstream entities, mainly battery makers, to jointly develop the project.
The Olaroz-Cauchari and Paso brine projects are located adjacent to major world class brine projects either in production or being developed in the highly prospective Jujuy Province. The Olaroz-Cauchari project is located in the same basin as Orocobre’s Olaroz lithium production and adjoins Ganfeng Lithium/Lithium Americas Cauchari project, with high grade lithium (600 mg/L) with high flow rates drilled immediately across the lease boundary.
The Cauchari project has shown high grades and high flow rates from a series of horizons over 144 metres, with up to 538 mg/L lithium, similar to lithium brine horizons announced from adjoining pre-production areas under development. Results provide confirmation of the continuity of lithium bearing horizons from adjoining world-class major projects (refer ASX announcements 28 May, 12 June 2019). The Olaroz project is planned to be drilled for the first time in LKE’s 100% owned Olaroz leases as soon as drilling is completed at Cauchari.
Significant corporate transactions continue in adjacent leases with development of Ganfeng Lithium/Lithium Americas Cauchari project with Ganfeng announcing a US$237 million for 37% of the Cauchari project previously held by SQM, followed by a further US$160 million to increase Ganfeng’s equity position to 50% on 1 April 2019, together with a resource that had doubled to be the largest on the planet. Ganfeng then announced a 10 year lithium supply agreement with Volkswagen on 5 April 2019. Nearby projects of Lithium X were acquired via a takeover offer of C$265 million completed March 2018. The northern half of Galaxy’s Sal de Vida resource was purchased for US$280 million by POSCO in June-Dec 2018. LSC Lithium was acquired in Jan-Mar 2019 for C$111 million by a mid-tier oil & gas company with a resource size half of Kachi. These transactions imply an acquisition cost of US$55-110 million per 1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in resources.
For more information on Lake, please visit http://www.lakeresources.com.au/home/
Table 1: Cauchari Lithium Project – details of drill-hole locations
APPENDIX 1 – JORC Code, 2012 Edition
Table 2 Report: Cauchari Lithium Brine Project