Galan Lithium has added further lithium brine potential to its Hombre Muerto West project in South America’s prolific ‘Lithium Triangle’ with a newly drilled bore hole revealing previously unrecognised brine bearing aquifers. The company says the discovery could provide a boost to future resource estimates for the project that already boasts 2.3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent.
Galan Lithium has added further lithium brine potential to its Hombre Muerto West project, or “HMW”, in South America’s prolific ‘Lithium Triangle’ with a newly drilled bore hole revealing previously unrecognised brine bearing aquifers. The company says the discovery could provide a boost to future resource estimates for the project that already boasts a 2.3 million tonne resource of lithium carbonate equivalent grading 946 milligrams per litre lithium.
Consisting of seven concessions, HMW lies on the west coast of the Hombre Muerto salt flat in northern Argentina. It forms part of the world-renowned ‘Lithium Triangle’ where about 60 per cent of the world’s lithium resources have been defined.
Galan recently launched a drilling campaign looking to grow the current resource and to test the brine flow rates at the project. The drilling is also aiming to evaluate the lithium grade for a maiden reserve estimate that will feed into a definitive feasibility study at HMW.
The discovery comes on the back of the first hole from the new campaign drilled at the Pata Pila concession to 220 metres depth. The hole was designed to conduct pumping tests for hydrogeological modelling forming part of reserve estimate works at HMW.
According to the company, excellent recovery of cuttings from the full length of the hole has allowed Galan to develop a more accurate understanding of stratigraphy in the area. Previous interpretations of the stratigraphy were limited to geophysical data.
The new drilling has unveiled at least 40m of unconsolidated conglomerates and interbeds of silt and clay that were previously believed to consist of halite. The halite was conservatively modelled for aquifer porosity in previous resource estimates, the company adds.
Galan believes the newly defined lithology of the hole could provide a shot in the arm for future resource and reserve estimates at HMW.
Galan Lithium Managing Director, Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said:“The initial results from this current drilling campaign have opened up even more potential for our volumes and flow rates at Pata Pila and the other HMW areas. It is very exciting to say the least”.
Amazingly, a recent scoping study and pre-economic assessment for HMW laid out a potential mine life of more than 40 years, with only 60 per cent of the resources considered. A net present value before tax topped the US$1 billion mark with a payback period of just 4.3 years for a proposed 20,000 tonne per annum LCE operation.
At Galan’s nearby Candales project, a recently launched scoping study is expected to be wrapped up later this year. The project area takes in an existing lithium brine resource of about 685,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent.
Both Candelas and HMW lie within a stones-throw of other major lithium brine projects in the region, including New York-listed Livent Corporation’s Fenix project which has been in production for more than 27 years.
Galan seems to be well placed to becoming the next major player in the revered Lithium Triangle as it continues to make inroads at its HMW and Candales projects in Argentina.
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