19/08/2021 - 15:16

Galan kickstarts drilling for more Argentinian lithium

19/08/2021 - 15:16

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ASX-listed Galan Lithium is ready to get the rods turning at its Hombre Muerto West project in South America’s prolific “Lithium Triangle” following confirmation of the next round of drilling permits from the local government body in Catamarca, Argentina. The planned drilling is designed to assess new resources and maiden reserves at Hombre Muerto West.

Caption: Galan Lithium’s Hombre Muerto West salt flat in Argentina. Credit: File

ASX-listed Galan Lithium is ready to get the rods turning at its Hombre Muerto West project in South America’s prolific “Lithium Triangle” following confirmation of the next round of drilling permits from the local government body in Catamarca, Argentina. The planned drilling is designed to assess new resources and maiden reserves at Hombre Muerto West, or “HMW”. Drilling will also test production well flow rates and the lithium grade. The company says earthworks have commenced and drilling equipment is now on site.

The project area is located in a 14km by 1-5km expanse on the west coast of the Hombre Muerto salt flat, locally known as salar. HMW is currently comprised of seven concessions – Pata Pila, Rana de Sal, Deceo III, Del Condor, Pucara, Catalina and Santa Barbara. South America’s Lithium Triangle borders northern Argentina, Chile and southern Bolivia. It contains 58 per cent of the world’s known identified lithium resources in vast “salars” or salt lakes.

Galan’s tenure within the world-class Salar del Hombre Muerto is in a well-to-do neighbourhood, with Livent Corporation’s El Fenix project and Galaxy Resources and POSCP’s developing Sal de Vida project nearby. The Hombre Muerto district hosts some of the highest-grade lithium with the lowest impurity levels in Argentina.

Geophysics and previous drilling at HMW demonstrated a significant potential for a deep basin according to the company. In March 2020, a maiden resource estimate delivered 1.1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent for two of the largest concessions, the Pata Pila and Rana de Sal concessions. That resource now sits at a tidy 2.3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent at an average 946 milligrams per litre lithium with a “total inventory” of about 3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent at 858mg/l lithium. Exploration upside still remains for the rest of the HMW concessions that are not included in the current indicated resource.

Galan is moving ahead with site access work at the Pata Pila and Rana de Sal concessions and drilling equipment is already on site. The company says the next round of drilling aims to confirm and expand current resources as well as test the dynamics of brine flow rates and the lithium grade necessary to estimate a maiden-reserves estimate to be used as part of HMW’s Definitive Feasibility Study.

Galan Lithium Managing Director, Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said: “We are pleased to be able to return to HMW, this time to drill for Reserves. With our new funding, Galan will also test new undrilled areas aiming to firm-up and increase resources. We want to prove that HMW could have a productive well field to support potential production as part of the DFS.”

Galan recently picked up even more land at Hombre Muerto West which will provide more space for establishing brine ponds and infrastructure. The company previously reported preliminary pond design and evaporation test work that appeared to show a potential path to increased production with corresponding capital and operational cost benefits.

Soaring global demand for lithium and other strategic battery metals has seen the price of high-grade lithium more than double in the past 12 months which places Galan in the box seat as it seeks to develop its significant lithium brine play in the lucrative Lithium Triangle.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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