NRG Metals has reported the discovery of lithium at the Salar Escondido Lithium Project, Catamarca Province in Argentina.
Consistent with the Company's geophysical data and geological model, the target zone of sediments saturated with brine that could contain lithium was intersected, and the first lithium values from near the top of the brine are very encouraging.
The samples, which were collected with a single packer, were analyzed by the Alex Stewart laboratory in Jujuy, Argentina. Alex Stewart employed Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry ("ICP-OES") as the analytical technique for the primary constituents of interest.
Adrian Hobkirk, CEO of NRG commented, "We are very excited with the initial results from near the top of the brine zone at Salar Escondido. These results prove the concept that there is a buried salar that contains lithium at Salar Escondido. Furthermore, the Mg/Li ratio is relatively low at 4.6, which is very encouraging. We are hopeful that lithium grades will increase at deeper levels, which is the case in many salars in Argentina. We look forward to continuing the exploration at Salar Escondido to fully assess and delineate this discovery."
The drill hole has intersected weakly consolidated sandstone and unconsolidated sand horizons with occasional conglomerate and clay layers from a depth of 113 meters to 176 meters, and predominately poorly consolidated conglomerate with occasional clay layers below 176 meters. Saline brine is present below a depth of 140 meters. As of December 5, 2017, the hole had reached a depth of 221 meters, and the Company is planning to extend the hole to a depth of 350 meters.
The Salar Escondido is a large basin, roughly 20 by 40 kilometers in size, which is mostly covered by a series of overlapping alluvial fans. NRG's technical team believes that a large salar with an area of at least 700 km had developed in the basin approximately two million years ago. After the salar was formed, it was buried by coalescing alluvial fans, and it is thus considered to be a "paleo-salar," hence the name Salar Escondido, which means "hidden salar" in Spanish.