Lithium One Inc. (TSX VENTURE:LI), has reported results from the first five core holes of a planned thirty hole program at the Sal de Vida lithium and potash brine project at Salar del Hombre Muerto, Argentina.
- 523 metres of core drilling in five holes widely spaced across more than 150 km2 of the salar.
- Favourable and confirmatory initial brine assays - core drilling averaged: 680 mg/l Li and 0.62 wt % K (7,303 mg/l K), with continued favourably low: Mg:Li ratio = 2.2; SO4:Li ratio = 11.9.
The results of drill sampling confirm the high grades of lithium and potassium, and favourably low concentrations of magnesium and sulphate, as established in the surface sampling and test well drilling program. The average values of all the drill samples to date are: 680 mg/L lithium and 7,303 mg/L potassium, with the lithium content in some geologic units exceeding 750 mg/L over significant intervals.
The core holes (drill holes SVH10_05 through SVH10_09) are widely spaced across the central portion of the property. Core drilling to date tests approximately 150 km2 of the more than 250 km2 of prospective salar, on average spacing of approximately 5 to 8 km between holes. Every drill hole has intersected thick porous sequences with potentially economic brine. The drilling revealed multiple brine-bearing units with expected changes in thickness and geologic facies around the basin.
Lithium One President and CEO Patrick Highsmith commented, "The Company is very excited with the first results from the core drilling program at our Sal de Vida Project. These summary values include all brine assays in the drill program to date, subject to no cut-off grade filtering. The high grades of lithium and potash at depth, positive overall chemistry, and consistency of the results over great distance increase our confidence that the Sal de Vida project has the potential to be a large brine resource and low-cost lithium and potash producer. In the coming weeks we will be testing the central portion of the main basin and the highest grade surface targets in the north basin as we continue to advance the project towards resource definition this year and feasibility next year."
The purpose of the core drilling is to collect depth-specific brine data along with total and effective porosity determinations for the hosting sedimentary units. These data will help determine the total brine volume and facilitate an estimate of the volume of potentially recoverable brine, from which an inferred brine resource will be calculated. The drilling employs triple-tube core equipment with a proprietary sampling method designed to collect depth-specific brine samples with minimal contamination by fluid from shallower or deeper fluid-bearing portions of the section.
Three main brine-bearing stratigraphic units have been identified from the drilling to date. The composition of the upper unit varies laterally, but generally consists of interbedded porous sand and silt with lesser clays ("Upper Unit"). The middle unit is comprised dominantly of halite (common salt), some of which is fractured or cavernous ("Halite Unit"). Prior to the commencement of drilling, a significant halite unit was not expected; and its areal extent remains to be determined. The lower stratigraphy appears to be dominated by porous sandy sediments, which are often pressurized with high density brine ("Lower Unit").
Analytical results from drilling indicate that the brine chemistry is consistent both laterally and across the different geologic units. Approximately 83% of the brine analyses from the drill samples fall between 500-900 mg/L lithium. Isolated lower lithium values occur in the shallower portions of the drill holes and are interpreted to reflect mixing with fresh surface water. Higher lithium values (to date up to 916 mg/L) are typically reported from the deeper samples.
The triple-tube coring has resulted in a consistently high core recovery rate. Select intervals are collected in plastic sleeves that are sealed and shipped to Core Laboratories in Houston, TX for porosity testing and the Company has received the first of the porosity results. Determinations for total porosity on the first 20 samples average approximately 16%. Preliminary measurement of effective (or drainable) porosity from three samples by the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technique averaged 22%. These results are considered reasonable and in agreement with field observations. The porosity of the unconsolidated sands tends to be highest, while the massive halite tends to have the lowest porosity. The vuggy halite containing silt and sand has intermediate porosity values. Work continues at Core Laboratories to refine the testing methodology for both total and effective (or drainable) porosity. Porosity measurements are being conducted using gravimetric and centrifuge techniques; and the results are pending. The results of these effective porosity determinations will be used in the ongoing resource modeling.
Quality ControlThe drilling, sampling, and core handling is being guided by Lithium One Argentina-based field staff in conjunction with hydrogeologists of Montgomery & Associates Water Resource Consultants.
The liquid samples from Sal de Vida have been analyzed by Alex Stewart Assayers of Mendoza, Argentina by dilution and direct aspiration atomic absorption. Alex Stewart's Mendoza lab is accredited to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO14001:2004 for its geochemical and environmental labs for the preparation and analysis of different sample media, including waters and brines. Analytical quality is monitored through the use of randomly inserted quality control samples, including standards, blanks and duplicates, as well as check assays at an independent lab. A new set of standards was recently implemented and round-robin testing completed using six laboratories in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Canada.
The performance of the standards, blanks, and duplicates associated with these data indicate acceptable analytical quality. Please refer to the NI 43-101 Technical Report dated March 5th, 2010, titled "Technical Report on the Sal de Vida Lithium Project, Salar de Hombre Muerto, Catamarca Argentina" and filed on SEDAR, for further discussion of quality control procedures and other information regarding the Project.
Review by Qualified PersonThe contents of this news release, analytical data, and quality control procedures have been reviewed and approved by Mr. Michael Rosko of Montgomery & Associates Water Resource Consultants (M&A). Mr. Rosko is a Registered Geologist in Arizona, California, and Texas and a qualified person (QP) as defined in NI 43-101. Mr. Rosko and M&A are completely independent of Lithium One, owning no securities of any kind in the Company.
Source: Lithium One Inc.