Galan Lithium (ASX: GLN) is reporting a “huge” increase in its Hombre Muerto West (HMW) lithium brine project resource to more than 2 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).
The company’s entire resource in the Hombre Muerto Basin is now 3Mt LCE, meaning that in size, it overtakes the Sal de Vida project in the same salt flat basin owned by South Korean conglomerate POSCO.
With the new addition of 895,000t of LCE at HMW, the project’s resource now stands at 2.3Mt.
This “substantial” increase in the resource is due to the acquisition of the Del Condor concession, which along with Deceo III, Pata Pila and Rana de Sal, is now being combined to produce the new HMW resource.
The increase was also aided by consultants reviewing the average porosity data at the salar.
Adding Galan’s other projects in the Hombre Muerto Basin brings the total to 3Mt.
This makes it the third largest publicly disclosed lithium resource in the basin, part of the so-called “lithium triangle” that embraces northern Argentina, and parts of Bolivia and Chile.
HMW the prime focus since August
Other companies operating in Galan’s neighbourhood include New York-listed Livent Corporation, which has been extracting lithium from the Hombre Muerto salar for 27 years, and Australia’s Galaxy Resources (ASX: GXY), which sold part of its Sal de Vida project to POSCO for $280 million.
Both those projects adjoin HMW.
In August, Galan decided its primary focus in Argentina would henceforth be on its HMW lithium brine project in Argentina.
In May, the company had reported work showing the Candelas deposit, located within the 25,000ha of its Hombre Muerto salar project, has high lithium recovery, low impurities and a small pond footprint.
But the company’s focus shifted once it was clear that HMW was showing higher grades.
Resource larger than dreamed about
Galan managing director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said the company now holding the third largest publicly disclosed resources in the Hombre Muerto is an “amazing milestone”.
“This is something we were not even dreaming about when we first started drilling late last year,” he said.
Galan plans to release its preliminary economic assessment and scoping study next month.
HMW is located on the western shores of the Hombre Muerto, which the company describes as a “world-renowned lithium bearing salar”, which itself lies within the Argentinean Puna plateau region of the Andes.
It sits about 4km above sea level.