Lake Resources builds momentum towards commercialising its large lithium brines endowment in Argentina

Lake Resources ASX LKE Kachi lithium brine project drilling
Diamond drill rig at Lake Resources' Kachi lithium brine project.

Lake Resources (ASX: LKE) provided a keenly awaited updated on its exploration activity at the Kachi lithium brine project in Argentina.

The junior explorer reported it had completed the first rotary drill hole to 240m with slotted casing in place to 237m to allow testing and sampling at 100%-owned Kachi in Argentina’s Catamarca province.

Despite facing some difficulties in its drilling activity, Lake said it would provide test results “in the coming weeks”.

Based on the solid progress made at Kachi, a third diamond drill rig has been deployed adjacent to the second rotary drill rig, 11km to the south-east of the recently completed rotary drill hole assessing whether the same conductive sandy aquifers could be intersected, as was achieved in the past.

Lake intends to assess which of the three rigs produces the best results and the “drilling program will then be extended based on these outcomes,” according to a technical update from Lake.

Nearology factors

As an alternative indicator of lithium prospectivity in and around Lake’s tenements in Argentina, there have been several high-grade lithium brine results reported by explorers in adjacent projects.

As a “nearology” factor this could serve as an early indicator of future exploration success for Lake, although nearby resources do not always translate into firm results for mineral explorers.

Advantage Lithium and Orocobre (ASX: ORE) have recorded lithium brine results averaging 476 milligrams per litre lithium with other holes up to 720mg/L lithium, including “high flow rates of brines” at the Cauchari lithium brine project in Jujuy province.

According to Lake, its “subsidiaries have progressed with the process to have drilling approved adjacent to this area” with the intention of targeting the same aquifers as its peers in the region.

More about lithium in Argentina

Lake is developing three distinct lithium brine projects and one hard rock project in Argentina, with all four 100%-owned.

Its leases are in proximity to large mature explorers with projects at further stages of progress within what’s known as “The Lithium Triangle”, where half of the world’s lithium is currently produced.

Lake holds one of the largest lithium tenement packages in Argentina, which stands at around 170,000 hectares. The company secured it in 2016 prior to a significant rush into the sector by several ASX-listed companies.

Lake hopes that by securing a large landholding and conducting prudent early exploration, it could leverage its endowment to provide consistent high-grade lithium supplies currently demanded by battery and electric vehicle manufacturers in the US.

Its three brine projects that will represent the most commercial opportunity for the lithium junior explorer are Olaroz/Cauchari, Paso and Kachi. All three are adjacent to major world-class brine projects being developed in the highly prospective Jujuy and Catamarca Provinces.

The Olaroz-Cauchari project is in the same basin as Orocobre’s Olaroz lithium production and adjoins SQM/Lithium Americas Cauchari project, where high-grade lithium with high flow rates have been drilled “immediately across the lease boundary”.

The Kachi project covers 50,000 hectares over a salt lake south of FMC’s lithium operation and near Albemarle’s Antofalla project.

News of this morning’s exploration update helped Lake Resources shares to tick up 5% to $0.10 per share.

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