Drilling Update at Kachi Project
- Drilling is progressing within brines below the lithium bearing salt lake of the Kachi Lithium Brine Project in Catamarca Province, Argentina.
- The diamond drill rig has advanced to below 70m depth in the first hole, encountering two brine horizons with conductivities similar to surface.
- Initial results from the brines are anticipated in 3-4 weeks' time
These brines display conductivities similar to the lithium bearing brines sampled at surface and is a positive indicator for future results. Initial results are anticipated in 3-4 weeks' time. The first drill hole is planned to terminate at approximately 100-110m with the rig then commencing on the deeper second hole nearby as part of a maiden 1,000m diamond drilling programme. The programme can be extended pending the outcome of assay results.
Lake Resources' Managing Director Steve Promnitz said: "Drilling has intersected near-surface brines which confirms the basis of the project and a second hole will target deeper aquifers. Conductivity and density are positive and have proven good indicators of lithium at surface. We eagerly anticipate the first set of assay results which we will report as soon as possible. "
The Kachi Lithium Brine Project covers over 50,000 ha of mining leases owned 100% by Lake's Argentine subsidiary, Morena del Valle Minerals SA, over the centre of the known salt lakes in the deepest part of a large basin. Surface sampling has revealed positive lithium results in conductive brines which will be expanded through the drilling program and geophysics.
The company has a focus on an inclusive approach with local communities together with appropriate environmental management. The Kachi Project was selected by the State of Catamarca to be accelerated, together with a small group of energy and mining projects in the province, to ensure appropriate development. A Letter of Intent was signed with Catamarca facilitate the project through various permitting stages in exploration and development to production which bodes well for the future.
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About Lake Resources NL
Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) is a lithium exploration and development company focused on developing its 3 lithium brine projects and 1 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 (~180,000Ha) secured in 2016 prior to a significant 'rush' by major companies. The large holdings provide the potential to provide security of supply demanded by battery makers and electric vehicle manufacturers.
The Kachi project covers 50,000 Ha over a salt lake south of FMC's lithium operation and near Albemarle's Antofalla project. Drilling at Kachi has confirmed a large lithium brine bearing basin over 22km long and over 400m deep. Drilling over Kachi is aimed to produce a resource statement in 2018, anticipated in Oct 2018. A direct extraction technique is planned to be trialled on site in tandem with conventional methods as part of a PFS to follow the resource statement. Scope exists to unlock considerable value through partnerships and corporate deals in the near-term.
The three key brine projects, Kachi, Olaroz/Cauchari, and Paso, are located adjacent to major world class brine projects either in production or being developed in the highly prospective Jujuy and Catamarca Provinces. 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.
A drill rig has been mobilised to Cauchari with results anticipated to extend the proven resources in adjoining properties into LKE's area with results anticipated from late October into December 2018. This will be followed by drilling extensions to the Olaroz area in LKE's 100% owned Olaroz leases.
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. Nearby projects of Lithium X were recently 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 2018.
The demand for lithium continues to be strong for lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles, according to recent data from the leading independent battery minerals consultant - Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Supply continues to be constrained suggesting good opportunities for upstream lithium companies for many years.
Lake Resources NL