Argentina Lithium Provides Updates on its Argentine Lithium Brine Exploration Programs – Brine Targets Identified at Antofalla Norte
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp. (TSX-V: LIT, FSE: OAY2 [WKN: A0RK7E], OTC: PNXLF), “Argentina Lithium” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update on its recent lithium brine exploration programs at its three projects: Antofalla, Arizaro, and Incahuasi. The projects are located in the Lithium Triangle in Argentina, and have the potential for discovery of lithium brine resources.
The Company has received results from a recently completed CSAMT deep geophysical survey on the Antofalla Norte Lithium Project and have identified four initial drill targets with the potential for discovery of lithium-bearing brines. Several other companies are exploring properties on the Antofalla salar, including global lithium producer Albemarle. Previous operators of the Albemarle property delineated lithium in brines, which Albemarle believes will be certified as the largest lithium resource in Argentina1. Reported grades from the salar include 350 mg/l lithium and 6,400 mg/l potash2 .
[The reader is cautioned that that proximity to a discovery, past-producing mine, or mineral resource, does not indicate that mineralization will occur on the Company’s property, and if mineralization does occur, that it will occur in sufficient quantity or grade that would result in an economic extraction scenario. Results from other companies are not indicative of expected Argentina Lithium’s results, as there has been insufficient exploration on the properties by Argentina Lithium.]
The CSAMT geophysical survey was conducted on the northern part of the property. The survey consisted of three East-West lines and three North-South lines, ranging from 2.4 to 6.8 kilometres in length and totalling 23.8 kilometres, with a total of 16 soundings (see Figure 1).
CSAMT method is used to map deeper stratigraphic units (layers) ands provide information to interpret subsurface characteristics, including lithology, basement geology, faults, weak or weathering zones, depression zones, groundwater level, and brine bearing formations. This information is used to select drill targets.
The survey identified targets with high conductivity in the first 100 metres and moderate conductivity at deeper levels (see example, Figure 2). Four drill holes are recommended by the consulting geophysicists to test for lithium-bearing brines. The Company is planning a potential drill program for the Argentine spring season.
The Company also completed a CSAMT survey at the Arizaro property to identify conductive features in deeper stratigraphic units than previously tested, and to expand the survey line coverage. The program included three East-West lines, each 13.5 kilometres long, plus two North-South lines of 10 and 20 kilometres each, with sounding spacings of 500 to 1000 metres. The survey provided new possible shallow brine targets but no significant targets were identified at depths below the 2017 drilling program. The Company is evaluating the appropriate next program for the Project.
CSAMT Survey Methodology
The surveys were completed by the technical staff of the independent geophysical company “GEC” using the STRATAGEM EH-4 equipment which provides high-resolution two-dimensional images of geologic structures by detecting and mapping variations in subsurface conductivity / resistivity. STRATAGEM EH-4 uses the magnetotelluric (MT) method to measure subsurface conductivity. The magnetotelluric method is based on the fact that the ratio of the magnetic to electric fields (known as the impedance) at a given frequency is constant for a constant resistivity. Natural signal sources, such as lightning activity, can be measured to determine this ratio. Unfortunately, natural signals are sometimes not available at the time, frequency, and amplitudes needed. Stratagem’s hybrid-source technique helps overcome this problem. Hybrid source uses a combination of natural MT signals and man-made transmitter signals. Any available natural background signals are used in the entire frequency band while the STRATAGEM transmitter is used to provide additional high-frequency signals in the range of 1 k Hz to 70 k Hz where natural signals are weak.
The Company has completed its previously announced initial drill program at the Incahuasi salar. The program included four vertical diamond drill holes totalling 878 metres. The holes were located based on the results of a Vertical Electrical geophysical survey (VES), along 12 kilometres parallel to the long axis of the salar (see Table 1 and Figure 3). Halite and deeper clastic sediments were cored in all holes. All four holes encountered lithium-bearing brines, mainly in sand and gravel units located throughout the holes. Lithium values from the brine samples were modest but fairly consistent, averaging 109 mg/L for all 54 samples collected and analyzed. Results are summarized in Table 2. Argentina Lithium is continuing to evaluate the data obtained to date from the geophysical, surface sampling and drilling programs to enhance its understanding of the hydrogeological aspects of the Incahuasi salar in order to focus future work on identifying sub-domains with higher lithium grades.
|Table 1. Locations of Drill Holes, Incahuasi Project|
|Table 2. Incahuasi Average Results of Drill Holes 1 to 4|
|Lithium (mg/L)||Potassium (mg/L)||Magnesium (mg/L)|
Drilling Methodology & QA/QC
Drilling was carried out by AGV Falcon Drilling S.R.L. using a diamond drill rig recovering HQ core. As the drill holes were all vertical and sedimentary strata in the salars is horizontal, all samples are believed to approximate true thickness. Samples were collected with a double packer. This method allows the collection of samples at specific depths while sealing the hole at the bottom and at the top of the sample.
All samples were collected in hard white plastic 1 litre bottles with samples numbers clearly identified. The samples were sent to the Alex Stewart Argentina S.A laboratory in Mendoza, Argentina (“Alex Stewart”), an ISO 9001:2008 certified laboratory, with ISO 17025:2005 certification for the analysis of lithium and potassium. Alex Stewart employed Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (“ICP-OES”) as the analytical technique for the primary constituents of interest, including: boron, calcium, potassium, lithium, magnesium and sulphur. Measurements in the field included pH, conductivity, temperature and density. The laboratory took the same measurements and they were consistent with the field data. A duplicate set of samples with different numbering was sent to the Alex Stewart NOA laboratory in Jujuy. The Mendoza lab results were on average higher than the Jujuy lab results, (~8% higher in Lithium) however due to the overall low levels of lithium in the samples the Company is not investigating the difference at this time.
About the Antofalla Norte Project
Argentina Lithium has applied for 100% interest in approximately 9,000 hectares of mining claims in the north end of the Salar de Antofalla and entered into an option agreement to earn a 100% interest in three additional adjacent properties totaling over 5,300 hectares. The Salar de Antofalla is approximately 150 kilometres long and 5-7 kilometres wide, and is located at 3,900 metres elevation. The salar is accessed by Provincial highway 43 and unpaved roads, with the small town of Antofalla approximately 50 kilometres to the south and the city of Salta approximately 500 kilometres away. The geological environment at the Salar de Antofalla is similar to other salars in the Puna region where lithium and potash are found. Several other companies are exploring properties on the salar, including global lithium producer Albemarle.
About the Arizaro Project
The Company holds, or has under application, over 13,000 hectares, and has the option to earn a 100% interest in an additional 20,500 hectares on the Arizaro Salar, the largest in Argentina and third largest in the “Lithium Triangle”. The Arizaro Salar benefits from a strategic location for infrastructure, including: a railway that connects to the deep water port of Antofagasta; nearby advanced mining projects that are expected to bring significant development of access routes and power; and the availability of water for development.
About the Incahuasi Project
The Incahuasi Brine Project includes 100% interest in 25,500 hectares covering the entire Salar de Incahuasi in the northwest of Catamarca Province, in the southern half of the "Lithium Triangle". Access to the Incahuasi salar is by gravel road, approximately 34 kilometres southwest from the town of Antofagasta de la Sierra. The geological environment at Incahuasi is similar to other salars in the Puna region where lithium and potash are found.
The work programs at the Antofalla Norte and Incahuasi Projects were undertaken under the supervision of David Terry, Ph.D., P.Geo., a Director of the Company and a Qualified Person as defined in National Instrument 43-101. The contents of this news release have been reviewed and approved by Dr. Terry.
For additional information on the projects please see the Company website www.argentinalithium.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Nikolaos Cacos, President, CEO and Director
For further information please contact:
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. Readers are encouraged to refer to the Company\'s public disclosure documents for a more detailed discussion of factors that may impact expected future results. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. We advise U.S. investors that the SEC\'s mining guidelines strictly prohibit information of this type in documents filed with the SEC. U.S. investors are cautioned that mineral deposits on adjacent properties are not indicative of mineral deposits on our properties.
1 Albemarle September 12, 2016 News Release; http://investors.albemarle.com accessed 3/5/18.
2 https://roskill.com/news/lithium-albemarle-expands-argentina/ accessed 3/5/18
Photos accompanying this announcement are available at
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