In the central core of the property, the indications of brine appear as shallow as 30 meters, below a compact near surface halite layer and to a depth of 250 meters. Due to the highly conductive nature of the anomaly, survey readings were limited to a maximum 250 meters.
The level plans show a very uniform distribution of the conductivity anomaly. The anomaly interpreted to be a body of brine with an orientation suggesting a strong North-South structural control.
The results of the geophysics survey are interpreted to indicate a large area of brine starting at shallow depths and extending to depths of over 250 meters. These results, as well as the anomaly’s proximity to other large lithium resources, the structural setting, and known chemical indicators suggest that the Cruz property is likely to host commercial quantities of lithium brine. The Phase I lithium brine exploration program is planned to commence on approval of the addendum to the existing exploration environmental impact report, anticipated in March.
Phase I drilling will consist of one core hole drilled at two separate locations in the Salar to establish stratigraphic and porosity data, and for brine extraction and evaporation trials. At both sites, an HQ core hole will test the Salar to a depth of 350m, or deeper if warranted to ensure that the brine body identified by the TEM geophysical survey is thoroughly sampled. In the deeper parts of some Salar basins, coarse sediments that were deposited early during the filling of the basins have the potential to be excellent brine aquifers.
During the drilling, samples for chemical analysis will be collected using a drive point system, which employs an in-situ sampling tool to collect brine samples from discrete vertical intervals. The brine will be tested on-site to determine density, conductivity and pH levels. Chemical analysis will be will be completed at a specialized, certified laboratory.
After drilling the core holes, down-hole geophysics will be used to target potentially productive zones. Subsequently, each hole will be cleaned and fitted with slotted casing and a gravel filter for possible future use as a monitoring well if results indicate that an adjacent pumping test well be drilled.
The program will be managed on the ground in Argentina through Southern Lithium’s joint venture partner Millennial Lithium Corp. Millennial has engaged HIDROTEC S.R.L., a Salta-based drilling company with extensive recent experience in drilling and testing Salar-hosted lithium brines, to complete the Phase I drilling program.