Mr. Steven Cochrane reports
LITHIUM CHILE COMMENCES PHASE 2 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ON ITS SALAR DE ARIZARO PROPERTY, SALTA PROVINCE, ARGENTINA
Lithium Chile Inc.'s previously announced drill program, designed to increase the salar de Arizaro initial resource estimate, is now under way. The program will comprise up to four additional exploration holes and three new production test wells. One diamond drill rig, as well as a larger rig capable of drilling a production well, have been secured with the first diamond drill exploration rig already on location. Site preparation is nearing completion such that drilling of the first exploration hole is anticipated to begin during the week of June 13th.
Work progress to date includes: i) a 1,200-metre main road has been reconditioned; ii) roads into new drill platforms 1 and 2 have been completed; and iii) drill pads for holes 1 and 2 have been completed. In preparation for moving to the next drilling locations, a new road into drill pad 3 has been started as has construction on the drill pad for hole 3.
Site preparation for the mobile camp that will house the drilling crews for the duration of the development program has been completed such that the camp will be mobilized shortly. In the meantime, the drilling crew is being housed in the nearby community of Tolar Grande.
Lithium Chile has also begun work on setting up and installing its own full-time pumping system on the first production test well which was completed in December of 2021. The pumping system will comprise of an on-site generator and a 30 horsepower submersible pump designed to allow for continuous production of brine from this first well. This will not only facilitate continuing metallurgical studies and prepare battery-grade lithium carbonate tests, but it will also provide the platform for a future production well.
A special agreement was achieved with an advanced titanium oxide resin for testing; the complete metallurgical set for different scenarios has begun in collaboration between Mineria Positiva and Norlab. This set includes:
- a) Pervaporation testing;
b) Lithium extraction with three different resins;
c) Concentration of solution using advanced distillation membrane trough KMX technology and others;
d) Initial lithium carbonate production tests.
Steve Cochrane, president and chief executive officer of Lithium Chile, commented: "The commencement of our phase 2 development program is another major milestone towards expanding and increasing our resource in Argentina. We are excited to show to our shareholders that this next phase of the development program has begun and provides the potential to increase our current initial 43-101 resource of 1.4 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent very significantly, allowing us to demonstrate that our Arizaro property is truly a world-class lithium brine deposit."
Each well will be sampled and assayed continuously during the drilling process. Lithium Chile will announce the results from these sample assays as they are received. The entire phase 2 program is anticipated to be completed in six to nine months with an updated National Instrument 43-101 resource report to follow shortly thereafter.
In addition to the phase 2 drilling program, mobilization of the company's 120-metre exploration water well has commenced. Located in an area where approximately 70 per cent of the freshwater flows into the basin, the well is expected to provide the water source for future production wells and the production plant. Having a fresh water resource will be critical for future development plans and is another significant milestone in advancing the company's Arizaro project.
About Lithium Chile Inc.
Lithium Chile is advancing a lithium property portfolio consisting of 79,700 hectares covering sections of 11 salars and two laguna complexes in Chile and 23,300 hectares in Argentina.
Lithium Chile also owns five properties, totalling 22,429 hectares that are prospective for gold, silver and copper. Exploration efforts are continuing on Lithium Chile's Carmona gold-silver-copper property which lies in the heart of the Chilean mega porphyry gold-silver-copper belt.
Lithium Chile's common shares are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol LITH and on the OTC-BB market under the symbol LTMCF.
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