Salar Escondido Lithium Project in Argentina
Drilling is underway the Salar Escondido lithium project (formerly called Carachi Pampa) in Catamarca province, Argentina. The Salar Escondido project comprises mining concessions totaling approximately 29,180 hectares (72,100 acres) located 280 km southeast of the provincial capital of Catamarca. The project area is strategically located within the Lithium Triangle, in close proximity to one of the largest known lithium deposits in Argentina, and within the Puna Region, an elevated plateau which lies on the eastern side of the Andes Mountains. This region contains a number of highly mineralized salars including the lithium producing salars Hombre Muerto.
Salar Escondido is a large basin, roughly 20 by 40 kilometers in size, which is mostly covered by a series of overlapping alluvial fans. NRG’s technical team believes that a large salar with an area of at least 700 km2 developed in the basin about 2 million years ago.
After the salar was formed, it was buried by coalescing alluvial fans, and it is thus considered to be a “paleo-salar." Hence the name Salar Escondido, which means “hidden salar” in Spanish.
Only a small portion of the original brine salar is presently exposed at surface in a small saline lake in the southwest portion of the basin. The brine in the lake contains anomalous lithium values.
During 2017, NRG’s drilling confirmed the presence of a buried brine zone beneath the alluvial cover on the surface of the basin. Brine was intersected at a depth of 140 m, and as reported in the Company’s press release dated December 7, 2017, sampling from 183 to 198 m returned an average grade of 229 mg Li/liter in a porous, weakly consolidated sandstone horizon. A Vertical Electrical Sounding (“VES”) geophysical survey conducted by the Company suggests that the brine zone occurs at an even shallower depth where the upcoming hole will be drilled.
Company President and C.E.O. Adrian F.C.Hobkirk is quoted “we are excited to have made an initial lithium discovery at Salar Escondido, and look forward to further drilling at this site in the coming weeks.”
Phase II of the drill program consists of drilling four additional holes at a grid spacing of approximately five kilometers and also drill larger diameter wells for pumping tests in order to establish a NI 43-101 compliant maiden mineral resource estimate. The Company intends to rapidly define the new lithium discovery at Salar Escondido.
June 2018 - Update on Phase II drilling sampling results
We were unable to obtain a conclusive sample from the target zone. While disappointing, we remain committed to further exploration of this very large project area. As you have seen from other lithium explorers in Argentina, values throughout a salar vary with location.
Adrian F.C. Hobkirk
President and C.E.O.
From left to right - Jorgelina Segovia (NRG Field Geologist at SE), Jose de Castro (NRG COO), Marcelo Olañeta (NRG Chief Geologist), Drill Contractor (white suit) on SE drill site.
May 8, 2018 - Phase II: Project reaches 400 meter target depth
Salar Escondido Lithium Project has progressed ahead of schedule, and an 8.5 inch rotary hole has been completed to the target depth of 400 meters. Adrian Hobkirk, CEO of NRG Metals Inc. commented, “We are extremely enthusiastic about the progress of this drill hole and the results we are seeing. We were able to successfully complete the initial rotary hole to the target depth of 400 meters in only 12 days, and the sediments we intersected may represent a buried brine deposit. We look forward to initiating the sampling phase as soon as the hole is reamed out and the perforated casing is installed.”
April 2018 - Phase II: Drilling targeted area to depth of up to 400 meters
NRG has contracted with Water Drilling Co. from Catamarca to drill an 8.5-inch diameter rotary hole up to a depth of 400 m. The hole will be located approximately one kilometer south of the Company’s initial diamond drill hole, which was completed to a depth of 307 m in December 2017. Water Drilling Co. is currently in the process of setting up their equipment to begin onsite drilling, scheduled to start the week of April 9.
December 2017 - Phase I: Drilling first hole for Lithium brine samples
The first hole drilled at Salar Escondido confirmed the presence of a buried brine zone beneath the alluvial cover on the surface of the basin. Brine was intersected at a depth of 140 m, and sampling from 183 to 198 m returned an average grade of 229 mg Li/liter in a porous, weakly consolidated sandstone horizon. A Vertical Electrical Sounding (“VES”) geophysical survey conducted by the Company suggests that the brine zone occurs at an even shallower depth where the upcoming hole will be drilled. Phase I drilling provided valuable information on the issues to be faced drilling at Salar Escondido that will be applied to the Phase II drilling.
September 2016 - Acquistion of two project properties
NRG Metals Inc. acquires 100% interest of two contiguous lithium projects in the Catamarca province of Argentina. Project 1 - Salar Escondido, comprises mining concessions totaling approximately 29,180 hectares (72,100 acres). Project 2, (3,287 hectares) is comprised of the Alba Sabrina, Tramo, Natalia Maria, Gaston Enrique, Viamonte and Norma Edit concessions, all located in the Salar del Hombre Muerto in Northwestern Argentina.