LiCo Energy Metals (LIC.V), a grassroots Canadian explorer in search of metals used in the production of lithium-ion batteries, announced positive results from the Transient Electromagnetic Method (“TEM”) survey carried out on its Purickuta Project located within the Salar de Atacama, Chile.
The Salar de Atacama is the largest salt flat in Chile occupying almost 1,200 square miles. It contains 27% of the world’s lithium reserve base and as of 2008 produced almost 30% of the planet’s lithium carbonate supply.
Within that, the Purickuta concession lies about 22 kilometres northwest of two large-scale production facilities operated by SQM and Albemarle Corp, which collectively produce more than 62,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent annually, making up 100% of Chile’s current lithium output.
According to the news release, the TEM survey at Purickuta, conducted by Geodatos Chile, noted that a conductive unit was detected beneath the crusted surface with values of resistivity less than 1ohm-m, which were interpreted as brines, divided into two sub-units.
The first of these is a high conductivity saturated unit (0.4 and 0.9 Ohm-m) which has a thickness variance between 6.3 metres and 22 metres.
The second is a very high conductivity saturated unit (0.2 to 0.4 Ohm-m) detected at two depths, one under the saline crust with a thickness of 3 and 7 metres, then again under the unit of high conductivity with a greater thickness of 100 metres. The floor of this stratum has yet to be detected as it goes beyond the depth capacity of the TEM survey.
Company President and CEO, Tim Fernback, commented on the survey, “These extremely positive results add significantly to our belief in the commercial potential of the Purickuta Project. In the lithium triangle of Chile, Argentina and Bolivia similar resistivity surveys consistently demonstrate that lithium brine-bearing aquifers are directly related to a low-resistivity, high-conductivity horizon within the salar. We found these positive geophysical characteristics over the entire property. Coming up we have a 300m diamond drill hole test designed to determine the lithium bearing capacity of the aquifer as outlined by Geodatos and I look forward to announcing the results.”
This news falls on the heels of the company opening an exploration and development office in Santiago, Chile as well as an announcement that LiCo had appointed BC Hydro executive, Greg Reimer, to its advisory board.
It looks like LiCo is gearing up for an energetic H2 2017.
LiCo currently holds an option to acquire 60% interest in the Purickuta Exploitation concession and trades on the TSX Venture Exchange at $0.13 per share for a market cap of $12.89 million.
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