Lithium exploration and development company Lake Resources (ASX: LKE) has announced the start of a drilling campaign at its wholly-owned Cauchari lithium brine project in Argentina’s highly-prospective Jujuy province.
Drilling is planned to target the same aquifers which exist within adjacent lithium brine projects being developed at Cauchari by the Lithium Americas-Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) joint venture, and at Orocobre by Advantage Lithium.
Lake’s drill locations will be on the margins of Cauchari and Orocobre and are expected to be extensions of the projects’ combined 14.8 million tonne lithium carbonate equivalent resource, which have proven results including 600 milligrams per litre lithium with high flow rates and 470mg/l lithium on the immediate lease boundary.
A rig has been secured and Lake expects activities to commence by end September.
Prime location alongside majors
Lake originally secured the 18,000 hectare Olaroz-Cauchari leases in early 2016 before the value of the adjoining brine projects was crystallised.
The leases are in a prime location alongside major players within Argentina’s “lithium triangle” where half of the world’s lithium is currently produced.
Lake holds one of the largest lithium tenement packages in the region, providing the potential for security of supply demanded by battery makers and electric vehicle manufacturers worldwide.
Lake managing director Stephen Promnitz said the Cauchari campaign is likely to be a “major value event” for the company.
“The Cauchari West target has a strike length of 11 kilometres and is nearly 2000 hectares in size,” he said.
“It is an outstanding prospect and we are looking forward to the start of drilling.”
Mr Promnitz said Lake’s recent discussions in China and Japan with companies in the lithium supply chain for cathodes used in electric vehicle batteries demonstrated “strong and ongoing interest”.
Meanwhile, Lake continues to advance the development of its Kachi lithium brine project, also in Argentina within the nearby Catamarca province.
Earlier this month, an extension of drilling activities at Kachi confirmed the discovery’s large scale and quality, with best results returning between 250mg/l and 276mg/l lithium over 42 metres (hole K03R12) and 306mg/l over 239m (hole K03R03).
Lithium brine was found to be present in sandy sediments from near surface to over 400m depth, in more than 14 rotary and diamond drill holes spaced over 15km across the project.
Lake said drilling will advance at Kachi towards an initial resource estimate, anticipated in October, with a further hole planned prior to final estimation.
At midday, shares in Lake Resources were trading 3.33% higher at $0.093.