Battery minerals explorer BMG Resources (ASX: BMG) has kicked off a two-hole drilling program at its Salar West lithium brine project in the Chilean region of South America’s ‘Lithium Triangle’.
This maiden drilling program has been in the works since April to test strong lithium brine targets identified in recent transient electromagnetic (TEM) geophysical surveys.
Anticipated spud dates were pushed back as the company worked on formalising its joint venture with Lithium Chile SpA.
BMG today advised the market that drilling commenced late last week, following the mobilisation of the Superex sonic drill rig.
The initial program comprises two holes for 200m each and is expected to take three to four weeks to complete.
The first hole is testing a highly conductive zone on L4 of the geophysics survey.
According to BMG managing director Bruce McCracken, the three key objectives of the maiden drill program are to test under-drilled, shallow portions of prospective ground at Salar West; to test new predictive structural models within the project; and to more accurately define the strongly conductive unit the TEM surveys have identified.
“This unit potentially represents hypersaline lithium-bearing brine extending south from close to surface,” he said.
“The company intends to despatch samples for assaying regularly and therefore plans to update the market with results as they become available,” Mr McCracken added.
For this maiden program, BMG has elected to utilise sonic drilling, which is a technology that provides core without requiring the fluid lubrication that diamond drilling does.
According to the company, this eliminates the risk of contaminating the down-hole brine samples taken as the hole is drilled – in this case, typically at 10-15m intervals.
The Salar West project is part of BMG’s three claims spanning 20,000 hectares across the Salar de Atacama, Salar de Pajonales and Salar de Tuyajto-Natalie regions in Chile.
Under its joint venture with Lithium Chile, BMG agreed to pay US$3.5 million to secure a 50% stake in the assets.