Australian explorer Galan Lithium (ASX: GLN) has struck a deal with a private individual in Argentina to purchase a key tenement within its Hombre Muerto West lithium project footprint in the region’s famed lithium triangle.
The company will pay $200,000 to acquire the Casa Del Inca III lithium brine tenement, adding 3 square kilometres to the project’s acreage and allowing more area for the location of infrastructure such as a mining camp, processing plant and a large evaporation pond.
The deal has been secured with an initial deposit of $106,000.
Casa del Inca III is located within the world-class Salar del Hombre Muerto, where Perth-based company Galaxy Resources (ASX: GXY) is developing its Sal de Vida project and global lithium player Livent Corporation is currently active.
The tenement abuts Galan’s Pata Pila licence, sharing the same geological setting and forming part of the suite of tenements which comprise the Hombre Muerto West project.
Galan managing director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said the tenement acquisition would add significant value to the project.
“This strategic acquisition consolidates Hombre Muerto West with an extension of the concessions from Catalina to Pata Pila and onwards to Casa del Inca III,” he said.
“It provides [us] with an opportunity to quickly build additional scale to our significant brine resource and tenure in the region.”
The Hombre Muerto West project houses a high-grade, low-impurity lithium brine resource of approximately 2.3 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent at 946 milligrams per litre lithium.
Proof-of-concept testing in Chile this week confirmed the project can produce battery-grade lithium at 99.88% purity – representing a 0.38% increase on the minimum requirement for battery-grade status.
Test results will feed into a feasibility study for the project which commenced in May.
“It is all hands-on deck [and] our commitment remains focused on getting this project online as soon as possible,” Mr Vargas de la Vega said.
The adoption of rechargeable devices and electric vehicles along with a push towards clean energy is expected to keep driving worldwide demand for lithium.
Research shows global sales of the lightweight metal are expected to rise 70% by year end, while the market as a whole is projected to increase by a multiple of five times over the next three decades.
That means the future is bright for mining companies operating in countries within the lithium triangle – Argentina, Bolivia and Chile – where 58% of the world’s identified lithium resources lie.
According to the US Geological Survey, the region’s abundance of lithium is partly due to the vast array of salt flats (or salars) where the metal is extracted from brine pools through an evaporation process facilitated by an arid, sunny climate.