Junior explorer Galan Lithium (ASX: GLN) will embark on a scoping study for its Candelas lithium project located on the south-east portion of the Hombre Muerto West salt flat within Argentina’s lithium triangle.
The bulk of the study will be completed by Galan’s in-house engineering team with Chile-based specialised lithium consultant Ad-Infinitum appointed to manage chemical processing and related content.
It will incorporate learnings from a preliminary economic assessment of the Hombre Muerto West lithium brine project released in December.
That study confirmed Hombre Muerto West as a tier one lithium brine asset with a pre-tax net present value of US$1.01 billion (A$1.38 billion) and an internal rate of return of 22.8%.
It estimated the project could produce 20,000 tonnes per annum of battery-grade lithium carbonate over more than 40 years.
Candelas predictive modelling has produced results of up to 6% for its lithium brine concentrate with low impurities, which has been considered similar to Hombre Muerto West.
Galan managing director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega was pleased with the modelling results which could provide commercial flexibility to production.
“To date, we have accumulated a significant amount of data from our detailed studies and testing at Hombre Muerto West which gives us the confidence to take Candelas to the scoping study phase,” he said.
“This is a natural step to complementing our lithium inventory from the same salt flat with the aim of adding further value by investigating an increase in [our] production levels.”
Second key project
Candelas is Galan’s second key project of a total six assets within the lithium triangle.
It sits within the regional Los Patos channel and measures 15km in length and up to 5km in width.
Candelas has potential to host a substantial volume of brine and Galan believes it ranks amongst the world’s best new projects of its kind.
A maiden resource estimate in October 2019 for the project’s North Zone totalled 684,850 tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) at 672 milligrams per litre lithium (based on a 500mg/l lithium cut-off).
At the time, Mr Vargas de la Vega said the resource had “exceeded” expectations and validated the asset’s high-grade nature.
The Candelas scoping study is expected to be finalised before year end.