The upgraded resource estimate has 192,000 tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and 1.176 million tonnes of bromine in the inferred and indicated resource categories.
Average mean lithium concentrations range from 11 to 196.1 parts per million (ppm) with a maximum recorded concentration of 253ppm while bromine concentrations range from 2,240 to 3,705ppm with a maximum recorded concentration of 5,041ppm.
The upgrade was achieved by creating a 3D geological model that identified that there are no geological features that limit the extent of the resource, and by conducting test-work on core and cutting samples, in addition to reviewing geological logs from previous drilling, to determine effective porosity - an important measurement of the recoverable brine from the clastic zones.
The mineral resource classification over the project area for Clastic Zone 31
Potential for further increase
The resource estimate was calculated only for the brine aquifers of clastic zones 17, 19, 29, 31 and 33 within the project area, representing only 47% of clastic zones and providing the potential for further increase.
This resource could be further increased by re-entering historical holes in the western and southern areas of the project which has been classified as an exploration target due to the lack of data to date.
This would result in a significant increase in the block model tonnages and grades for the additional clastic zones as there has been no recorded assays in those locations.
Exploration targets estimated
An exploration target of a further 365-700 million tonnes of brine grading in the range of 50-300 milligrams/litre lithium and 3,000-4,000 milligrams/litre bromine has been estimated for Clastic Zones 17, 19, 29, 31 and 33.
This exploration target occurs within the project’s placer claims totalling 11,373 hectares.
It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of an additional mineral resource.
The updated JORC resource and the results of test-work to produce lithium and bromine chemicals has been fed into the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) which should be completed in May 2020.
This included hydrological studies to develop brine extraction and spent brine reinjection disposal rates.