Alset’s Rapid Mexican Lithium Salar Shows Progress
Last year, Alset Minerals Corp. (TSXV: ION) (“Alset”) doubled down on its Mexican salars project; a collection of three salt flats in central Mexico that reportedly contain exciting quantities of the sought-after battery component lithium. Today, further positive results have attracted considerable additional investment, and prompted the company to acquire 100% interest in the salars. A full drilling project is now underway in order to ascertain the depth at which lithium-rich brines exist, which will prove the area worthy of entering the booming energy-storage supply chain, and newly promote Mexico into the ranks of lithium-producing nations.
Already, the company has demonstrated that lithium metal can be recovered in valuable quantities from the surface soils; recent lab testing proved that a weak acid leach was more than sufficiently capable of extracting upwards of 97% of the precious tech-metal. Three different composite samples were created for the test, one for each salar, and moreover, previous positive results of scientific investigations of these soils were what inspired the company to sell-off their Canadian lithium play to focus more closely on the promise of the salars-down-south.
Although the project already has considerable merit based on the existing results, the discovery of subsurface brine pools with a high lithium-density would no doubt cause company stocks to skyrocket. Brines are renowned for providing the most economical form of product recovery, in that evaporation of the brine, once pumped to the surface, is all that is required to arrive at a decent composite product that can be refined further on-site. The majority of producing lithium brines are currently found in South-America, as part of the now-famous “lithium triangle” region that holds over half of the world’s reserves.
This is precisely the focus of the current drill; Alset has committed to creating two holes in the salar known as La Salada, purportedly the most promising of the three. As testing has yet to explore below five meters, the drill cores will assess the overall depth of La Salada and demonstrate the position of the brine horizon. Metallurgical testing and further analysis can then tell us exactly what may be taken from the area, but expect significant results given that La Salada has returned grades as high as 2000mg/l lithium, 8% potassium, and 60mg/l boron. Perhaps most excitingly, preliminary geophysical surveys have indicated that the ex-lake extends to a possible depth of seventy-meters, which when proven, would create one hell of a lithium mine.
Not to mention the fact that the presence of large quantities of potassium makes for significantly lower operating costs given that the material is in constant demand for the production of fertilizers the world over. Previously Alset Energy Corp, the company more recently decided to change its name to better reflect its goals. The supply of lithium alone will be sufficient to make a company into a market leader, but spreading one’s bets is always going to provide more benefits. The focus on delivering high-end mineral products to a variety of markets is a smart move, and will provide the company with a boost to security for the coming years.
Demand for lithium is still projected to speed uphill for the next ten years, our ever-growing need for newer and better energy systems is not abating anytime soon, and a rudimentary analysis of global production confirms this year-on-year. Lithium is utterly essential to fuel this growth, and anyone who can get their hands on decent quantities will reap the benefits of the curve; expect Mexico to soon join the ranks of global lithium exporters, and within driving distance of the Gigafactory, no less.