Advantage Lithium Corp. is pleased to announce that a drill rig will be mobilized later this week to its flagship lithium property located in the Cauchari Salar of Jujuy province in NW Argentina.
The first hole of a five-hole, Phase One program is expected to be collared early next week. This marks the Company's first step in a systematic, fast-track exploration and development work program. Phase Two drilling is planned for later in 2017 and will comprise a further twelve holes leading to a scoping study by early 2018. Advantage Lithium is increasing its interest in the project from the current 50% to 75% through the expenditure of US$5m or completing a Feasibility Study. Orocobre holds the remaining interest.
Cauchari News Highlights
- Phase One drilling: a five hole rotary drill program scheduled to begin during the week commencing May 1, 2017.
- Phase Two drilling: A follow-up, twelve hole diamond drill program to commence later in 2017.
- Drilling will focus on (a) potential extensions of the existing inferred resource at Cauchari and (b) exploration where no previous drilling has been conducted. A large exploration target1 has been defined with a range of 125 to 1,855 million cubic meters of brine at between 260 and 600mg/l lithium and 2,500 to 5,350mg/l potassium for the lower and upper ranges1 respectively; this represents an in situ range of contained product of between 0.25 to 5.6mt of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and 0.9 to 19mt of potash (KCl).
David Sidoo, CEO of Advantage Lithium, commented, "In line with our aggressive development timeline, we are commencing work at our flagship Argentina project of Cauchari, just weeks after completing the transaction with our partner, Orocobre. We will be focusing on expanding the existing resource at the project where a large exploration target has been projected. We have engaged Andina Perforaciones, one of Argentina's leading drilling contractors, to undertake the initial phase of what will ultimately be a 17 hole program."
Cauchari Project Information
- Existing Inferred Resource: Host to an inferred resource containing an estimated 230 million cubic metres of brine at ~380 mg/l Li and 3,700 mg/l K. This is equivalent to 470,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate (~88,000 tonnes lithium metal) and 1.62 million tonnes of potash (KCl - equivalent to ~840,000 tonnes of potassium).
- Near-Surface. This initial resource estimate is based on five shallow diamond drill holes to an average depth of 50-170m and open to depth.
- Exploration Potential. An exploration target has been defined in the NW blocks of the JV property, in addition to that beneath the original resource estimate in the SE property blocks. The combined exploration target in the Cauchari JV properties both west and east of properties held by Lithium Americas Corp. is defined with a range of 125 to 1,855 million cubic meters of brine at between 260 and 600mg/l lithium and 2,500 to 5,350mg/l potassium for the lower and upper ranges1 for 0.25 to 5.6mt of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) for the lower and upper ranges respectively.
- Close Proximity to Orocobre's Lithium Facility. Proximity to Orocobre's Olaroz operation and similarity in brine chemistry provides options for future production alternatives.
The initial, Phase 1 drill program scheduled to start next week consists of five rotary drill holes targeting the north-west (NW) and south-east (SE) blocks of the property with a surface area of ~5,500 hectares These will be deep holes to approximately 400m below the salar surface, with the objective of (1) probing for extensions laterally and to depth below the existing inferred mineral resource in the SE sector and (2) opening a new front in the NW sector which the company believes to be prospective for extensions of lithium-bearing brine below the Archibarca alluvial fan.
Later in 2017, a complementary 12-hole diamond drill (DDH) program will be initiated to provide core for aquifer parameter tests and to also install monitoring holes for pump tests on the primary rotary holes. Additional rotary and/or diamond drill holes will be added as justified by initial results as we proceed towards engineering studies.
Specialized packer instrumentation will be used to collect brine samples for analysis under strict QA/QC protocols monitored by a Qualified Person as required by NI43-101 guidelines. In-hole geophysical profiling and geological logging will provide the basis for determining the most promising aquifer zones for packer tests.
Considerable technical and operating skill is required to successfully complete exploration and brine pumping wells in the unconsolidated sedimentary sequences of the salars and to do so at 4,000m above sea level in a rigorous climatic region with sub-zero winter temperatures. The company is therefore most pleased to have signed a contract and to be working with Andina Perforaciones who have multiple years of practical experience in Cauchari and other salars of NW Argentina. Together with the Company's technical staff and supporting community relations team, the company expects to complete the Phase 1 work program by year-end 2017.
1 An exploration target is not a mineral resource. The potential quantity and grade of the exploration target is conceptual in nature, and there has been insufficient exploration to define a Mineral Resource in the volume where the Exploration Target is outlined. It is uncertain if further exploration drilling will result in the determination of a Mineral Resource in this volume.
The technical information in this news release has reviewed and approved on behalf of the company by Murray Brooker, MAIG, RPGEO, a "Qualified Person" as defined in NI 43-101.