New Drill Rig Advances at Cauchari
- New larger diamond drill rig has advanced at Lake's Cauchari Lithium Brine Project to a depth of 141 metres
- New rig is targeting a ~350-450m deep sand horizon to produce samples, with the capability to drill up to 500m
- Two rigs now operating at Cauchari targeting various depths adjacent to world-class brine projects.
The larger diamond drill rig is targeting a sand horizon estimated between 350-450 metres deep and will drill to 500 metres. Two rigs are now operational at Cauchari and reporting results from representative samples is LKE's immediate priority.
Foraco, the third largest global mineral driller, is operating concurrently with rotary rig drilling operations. The rotary rig is targeting a shallower sand horizon of between 300-350m.
Both Lake's rigs are operating ~500m from where Ganfeng/Lithium Americas is about to drill a further production hole on their adjacent leases. Lake is targeting the same sand horizons.
Lake's Managing Director Steve Promnitz said: "Lake aims to generate brine samples showing the extension of the adjoining resource, which is the largest in the world, into Lake's leases.
"Recent progress has been encouraging as we aim to advance this project as quickly as possible for the benefit of shareholders. Notably, Lake is the only junior company drilling next to a major pre-production site in the best location for lithium brines, as demonstrated by Ganfeng recently paying over US$350 million for 50% of the adjoining project."
Lake's Cauchari project is part of Lake's 100% owned lithium portfolio in the Lithium Triangle, encompassing its Kachi, Olaroz-Cauchari and Paso brine projects. Demand forecasts point to the need for an eight-fold increase in lithium supply over the next nine years and amid supply constraints, new projects such as Lake's will be essential to support the lithium-ion battery revolution in energy and transport.
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About Lake Resources NL
Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) 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 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) within a 8-17 Mt LCE exploration target (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 3000 mg/L lithium and 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 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.
Two drill rigs are currently drilling at Cauchari with results anticipated to extend the proven resources in adjoining properties into LKE's area with results anticipated from November 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 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. These transactions imply an acquisition cost of US$55-110 million per 1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in resources.
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.
Lithium Americas Corp
Lake Resources NL
Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd