Argentina Lithium on exploring the lithium triangle
Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp. (TSXV: LIT | OTCQB: PNXLF) (“Argentina Lithium”) secured the necessary permits last month to complete detailed exploration of their Arizaro Lithium Project on the Arizaro Salar in Salta Province, Argentina. Most readers will be familiar with South-America’s “Lithium Triangle”, a dense area of lithium-rich brines and salars spanning parts of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia; As this triangle holds around half of the world’s identified lithium reserves, the zone has attracted an absurd number of investors and explorers in recent years.
Argentina Lithium purchased 20,500 hectares of the central section of the Arizaro Salar in October 2016. Now the company intends to expand this claim due to their conviction that quality brines exist at depth to a much greater extent than what has currently been revealed.
“We are excited to be taking the first step in a systematic exploration program to investigate the Arizaro Project for lithium-rich brines,” said Nikolaos Cacos, President and C.E.O. “At the same time we are initiating baseline environmental studies and community engagement programs, in anticipation of drilling, and potentially resource delineation, later this year.”
Argentina Lithium believes that its work can contribute to a greener energy future. Lithium-ion battery systems have become ubiquitous and are considered by many to be the current leading-solution to the problem of storing all the renewable energy we produce in the coming years. Key sectors, including electric vehicles, grid-storage systems and portable technologies are all exploding, and all depend on lithium.
Arizaro is a high-altitude plateau located in the mining-friendly province of Salta, in the Puna region of northwestern Argentina. The 3,600m high salar covers an area of 1600 km2 within a watershed of 6,000 km2, making it the third largest salar in the “Lithium Triangle”, after Uyuni in Bolivia and the Atacama in Chile. The salar is located in a hyper-arid region, receiving on average less than 30 millimeters of rain per year, a necessary condition for the creation of evaporative brines. The shear surface area of salars such as these means that processing facilities, including expansive evaporation ponds, can simply be constructed on the flat itself-a considerable cost saving.
The development of brine projects on some other salars in the region has been hindered by a lack of fresh water for processing. At Arizaro, there is a known water recharge area. Furthermore, the company has made securing a water source a key component of its exploration program in preparation for a feasible mining project. Additionally, the presence of so many other mining juniors in the area means that infrastructure is being expanded around the project all the time, which Argentina Lithium could leverage.
Arizaro is situated in close proximity to several rail stations (Tolar Grande, Taca-Taca, Caipe, Vega de Arizaro) on the international railway that leads to the Chilean deep water port of Antofagasta approximately 450 kilometres to the west.
Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp. is a member of the Grosso Group, a resource management team that pioneered the mineral exploration industry in Argentina and has operated there since 1993. The group has made three exceptional metal deposit discoveries, and it broadened its focus to include alternative fuels in the mid 2000’s. The Grosso Group, a private mineral exploration in South America, has been following the lithium battery sector and believes this is the time to expand its efforts in lithium resource development in Argentina. The Grosso Group leverages its vast network of local, regional and international industry contacts to support the exploration team in their search for quality resource opportunities.
Right now, access routes are being established on the 20,500 hectare property and detailed exploration work is expected to commence shortly. This will include both near-surface geochemical sampling and a Vertical Electric Sounding (VES) geophysical survey to test the company’s theory that extensive lithium-rich brines exist at depth. For the next few months, emerging data will coalesce into a coherent map and resulting drill program plan; if a bet is to be placed, it would be wise to place it early.