Battery Metals

Lithium Energy hits more promising brine results at its Solaroz project in Argentina

Tue 01 Nov 22, 1:54pm (AEST)
A row of lithium brine ponds extend into the distance in a straight line from the photographer; mountains cover the horizon in the distance.
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Lithium Energy reporting grades of 555mg lithium per litre of brine in first hole at Solaroz, a mid-grade-range result
  • Company has sent samples off to laboratory in US for further analysis
  • Data returned to the company will allow company to begin publishing a maiden JORC resource

Lithium Energy (ASX:LEL) is today reporting further promising results attached to its lithium brine operations at the Solaroz project in Argentina with assay results on samples today showing up to 555mg of lithium per litre (555mg/L) of conductive brine (liquid) material. 

Among the world’s highest-grade lithium brines are those located in Chile, which can turn over results of around 1,800mg/L, putting Lithium Energy’s results today into the mid-grade-range.

The company’s share price is trading flat heading into mid-afternoon trades, which comes as a contrast to the sentiment Lithium Energy enjoyed in early October when it first announced the detection of conductive brines. 

In early October, the company’s share price soared 40% on the announcement of brines being present, even though the company hadn’t yet posted assay results. Those results were attached to the first hole of a 10-hole diamond drilling program. 

Part of the flatline for the LEL share price is likely to do with investors waiting to see how much the RBA raises rates by in roughly an hour’s time.

10 hole program still underway 

Lithium Energy notes today it has secured a second drill rig to plug away at the brine deposits on-site to complete its ongoing exploration campaign. 

Core samples will be sent to a laboratory in the US (closer to get to than Australia) and from there the company will be able to begin the process of publishing its maiden JORC-compliant mineral resource. 

Lithium Energy notes drilling at the first diamond drill hole has hit 335 metres, perforating a two-tier aquifer system comprising a lower and upper deposit. Drilling will proceed to the basement of the lower aquifer. 

The company notes the brine (which is truly more of a mud-like product) is hosted among relatively loose sandstones, which it believes provides early-stage evidence that downstream processing of materials may be easily carried out. That claim, however, ultimately remains to be seen further down the line. 

Confidence increasing: management 

“Encountering the target deep sand in our maiden drill hole at Solaroz is another positive milestone for the company, further increasing confidence in our geological modelling,” Lithium Energy executive chair William Johnson said. 

“With sampled grades up to 555mg/L and generally continuing to increase with depth, the company remains highly encouraged.” 

“We have also secured a second drilling rig allowing us to accelerate the drilling program and move more quickly towards establishing a maiden JORC resource.” 

Prime time for brine mine

Lithium brine projects are no stranger to the South American continent where the battery metal is often found in salty lakes. 

Brine lithium deposits are one of the most common forms of lithium mines outside of hard-rock mine operations which target pegmatites of either the spodumene or lepidolite variety. 

Case in point: Allkem Limited (ASX:AKE) boasts similar acreage some 10km away from Solaroz, as does NYSE-listed Lithium Americas Corporation. Another Allkem asset, Maria Victoria, is located closer at only 3km away. 

Mind the gorge: a look at Lithium Energy's three month charts
Mind the gorge: a look at Lithium Energy's three month charts


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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