South America-focused explorer Galan Lithium (ASX: GLN) has recovered a “substantial” intercept of brine from the maiden drill hole at its Candelas lithium brine project in Argentina.
While the company is still awaiting lab results to confirm whether the brine is actually lithium-bearing, it remains encouraged by this initial success considering the area was not previously thought to be prospective.
The junior explorer had planned a five-hole diamond drilling campaign to target the 15km long Candelas channel, where recent geophysics had indicated the potential for a substantial volume of brine.
Maiden drilling began in late January, with the company today reporting the intersection of brines hosted within coarse clastic sediments including a breccia-conglomerate from about 235m to the current drilling depth of 300m.
According to Galan, conductivity measurements from brine samples exceeded the 200 millisiemens per cm limit of the field recording instrument.
In addition, the sediments were overlain by a thick layer of ignimbrite, which supports the company’s theories of an underlying brine pool.
Preliminary brine samples have now been transported to the laboratory in Argentina, with Galan awaiting confirmation that the brine is lithium-bearing. The samples will also be sent to the United States for porosity test work to determine the specific yield.
If test work confirms Galan’s expectations, the company said it will aim to fast-track its Candelas exploration program to target a resource “as soon as practicable”.
Galan managing director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said the company was delighted to have encountered this amount of brine in ideal host sediments in its very first drill hole.
“Whilst we still await confirmation that the brine is lithium bearing, the fact that brines even exist in an area not previously thought to be prospective is particularly pleasing and augers well for the continued exploration of the 15km long channel at the project,” he said.
The Candelas project lies in the Hombre Muerto salar (depression), an area located within the “lithium triangle” of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
The basin is known to host the highest grade and lowest impurity levels of any producing salar in Argentina.
Galan shares were up 3% to $0.34 on today’s news by late afternoon trade.