South-American focused explorer Galan Lithium (ASX: GLN) has encountered a highly-conductive brine-bearing aquifer during drilling of a third hole at the Candelas lithium brine project on the Hombre Muerto salar in Argentina.
The brine was intercepted from 280m to the current depth of 309m and is located approximately 2.5km south-east of a maiden drill hole, which provided excellent results including an intercept of 192m at 802 milligrams per litre lithium with low impurities.
Those results confirmed Galan’s geological model that a substantial volume of brine exists within the feeder channel into Hombre Muerto.
The company said the geological sequence of the current hole largely replicates that observed in the maiden hole, incorporating a thick layer of ignimbrite below shallow alluvial cover.
That hole then encountered a sequence of sand and clays hosting salty waters which at 280m depth, turned to brines hosted within a permeable breccia-conglomerate.
Conductivity measurements from brine samples exceeded the 200 millisiemens/cm limits of the company’s field recording instrument, while specific gravity was recorded at 1.13 grams per centimetre.
Second drill hole
Brine temperatures have been recorded below 20o Celsius, confirming that the aquifer intercepted in a second drill hole – where temperatures reached more than 55o Celsius – had lower grades due to likely dilution from localised hydrothermal waters.
The second drill hole is located 7km to the south of the maiden hole and 9.5km south of the third hole.
Galan managing director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said the discovery of further brines within the Candelas channel is an “outstanding result” for the project.
“It reinforces our view that this project has very real potential to host a significant lithium resource in one of the world’s premium salars,” he said.
The Candelas project covers more than 40 square kilometres of potential brine reservoirs in a highly-prospective region adjacent to the Sal de Vida lithium project owned by Galaxy Resources (ASX: GXY) and believed to host reserves of 1.14 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent.
Galan launched a maiden diamond drilling campaign at Candelas in January comprised of five holes along the 15km extent of the Candelas channel.
The company is fast-tracking exploration work at Candelas with a view to targeting a JORC-compliant resource estimate.
At midday, shares in Galan were up 34.78% to $0.31.