- Inferred NI 43-101 Mineral Resource of 2,190,000 tonnes LCE
- Lithium resource open at depth between 100m and 500m
- Drilling to test deeper zones to start shortly
- Upgraded Mineral Resource to Measured and Indicated categories planned
TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — LSC Lithium Corporation (“LSC” or together with its subsidiaries, the “Company”) (TSXV:LSC) is pleased to announce the issue of its maiden Mineral Resource on its Rio Grande lithium project. This is the second in a series of resource estimates planned for release by the Company this year on its multiple properties. This initial NI 43-101 Mineral Resource estimate includes a total of 2,190,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) equivalent (LCE) in the Inferred Mineral Resource category with the top 50m of the deposit amounting to 1,375,435 tonnes grading at 338mg/l Li and the lower 50m to 100m amounting to 814,582 tonnes grading at 410mg/l Li (See Table 1). Lithium grades tend to improve between 50m to 100m below surface and this trend indicates potentially improved grades at depth.
The Company’s President & CEO Ian Stalker stated, “The delivery of this large resource down to just 100m depth, which includes over 2M tonnes in the Inferred Resource category, is a significant step forward for the Company in a short period of time. Although large, this resource has the potential to increase in size based on geophysical results indicating greater potential to a depth of 500m+ and will be tested in the next phase of drilling. The Company has made excellent progress in the last six months culminating with the issue of both this resource and also that for Pozuelos in the last two weeks which amounted to 1.29m tonnes LCE in the Measured and Indicated Resource category at an average grade of 387mg/l Li and 312,942 tonnes LCE in the Inferred Resource category at an average grade of 323mg/l Li.1 The Rio Grande resource is planned to be upgraded to a Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource as soon as possible as LSC will conduct further drilling to test the depth extensions and porosity levels. We look forward to the additional resource estimates for Salinas Grandes and Pastos Grandes in the near and medium term respectively.”
Table 1 – Rio Grande Resource Statement as at February 15, 2018
|Assay Value (mg/l)||Total Brine
Vol (MM m3)
|Top 50m, 5km
radius of pump
area, top 50m
|Lower 50m –
1 Relative Brine Release Capacity.
2 Li metal converted to Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) using a factor of 5.323.
3 Rounded down to nearest ‘000.
4 Resources estimated using CIM 2014 resource classification definitions.
5 A cut-off grade of 100mg/l of Li was applied. The hydraulic parameters of the resource area suggest that it is reasonable to expect brine extraction by a conventional production wellfield at a commercially viable rate, while the geochemical characteristics of the brine suggest that conventional processing techniques may be employed to produce saleable lithium products in an economically profitable manner. These processing techniques are employed in lithium brine operations in Chile, the USA and China.
6 Resources estimated by D. Hains, P. Geo.
7 Resources which are not Reserves do not have demonstrated economic value. There is no guarantee that resources can be converted to reserves with additional work.
Phase 1 Exploration Program
An eight hole drill program was completed by the Company to verify the historical results reported for 33 holes drilled across the salar by ADY Resources Ltd.2 (“ADY”) by twinning selected holes. The historical drill hole spacing was on a grid of approximately 1.5km east/west by 2km north/south with the eight hole verification program twinning historical holes within 5m of the original collars. The historical drill results and the subsequent verification drill results reported by LSC1 have been used for this mineral resource estimate. The ADY drill holes were all terminated at approximately 50m below surface. A decision to extend the LSC drill holes to 100m was made to test potential higher grade lithium mineralization at depth. This has proved successful as lithium mineralization down hole tends to increase in grade with depth.
Verification drilling was carried out utilizing a wireline triple tube core barrel system recovering HQ size core for geological logging and Relative Brine Release Capacity (“RBRC”) analysis. While drilling in the center of the salar in proximity to drill holes SRG-2017-22T and SRG-2017-18T, unconsolidated volcanic derived sands were encountered which prevented both holes drilling to the planned depth of 100m below surface, reaching 60m and 84.5m respectively. In some cases, it was deemed necessary to repeat drill holes in the top 20m to 50m below surface where either the packer equipment was inoperable or brine recoveries were negative with corresponding historical ADY data indicating positive brine samples at the particular down hole elevation. The packer sampling in the eight LSC twin holes was designed to replicate the intervals within the ADY drill holes and this was achieved to an acceptable level.
As reported previously3, interpretation of CS-AMT survey results indicate that the potential for lithium bearing formations extends to depths in excess of 500m below surface. Secondly, these interpreted results also indicate the presence of two deep seated depositional centers. The first is well developed in the northern section of the salar and is open ended both at depth below 500m and laterally to the north. The second depositional center is more centrally located. The 2018 drill program will investigate both these deep targets and is designed to deliver an upgraded NI 43-101 Mineral Resource.
Mineral Resource Estimation Methodology
Resources for salar Rio Grande were estimated using an inverse distance squared interpolation (“ID2”) method. The resource model area was clipped to the perimeter of the salar or the LSC tenement boundaries, as applicable. Assay data for the model was based on the historical and/or twin hole assay results down to 50m depth and the twin hole confirmatory assay data for the interval between 50m and 100m depth. An effective porosity value of 13.5% was applied to that area within a 5km radius of the historic pumping wells. The effective porosity value for this area was obtained from the 2012 SRK report on Rio Grande (see LSC NI 43-101 technical report dated December 31, 2016 for details). RBRC data from the twin hole drilling program was interpolated using the ID2 methodology for the balance of the upper 50m zone and for the lower 50m interval across the salar. The total area of the salar subject to the resource estimate is 14,800 ha, with 41% of the upper 50m area residing within the 5km radius of influence of the historic pumping wells.
The results of the resource estimate are summarized in Table 1. Resources have been classified as Inferred for both the upper 50m and lower 50m intervals across the salar due to uncertainties associated with values for Specific Yield and the limited assay data for the lower 50m interval.
The property was previously operated for sodium sulphate production initially between 1952 and 1975 with approximately 60,000 tonnes being produced. A second phase of production occurred between 1976 and 1991 with 49,700 tonnes from brines and 34,000 tonnes from surface material. The property currently has three 15” production wells installed, each with a capacity of 150m3/hour rate to 25m depth.
The successful production of sodium sulphate indicates the possibility of reducing the sulphate content in the brine prior to lithium production along with the production of a significant sodium sulphate by-product for the Company, with potential to supply as a reagent to other lithium producing projects in Argentina. LSC is actively researching both traditional and alternative process routes for recovery of sodium sulphate and recovery of the lithium from the brine to maximize the value of the Rio Grande resource.
Prior exploration on the Rio Grande tenements by ADY Resources, and previous tenement holders, included:
- Geological mapping and shallow surface sampling (142 samples to 1m) in 2011; and
- 33 HQ diamond drill holes for 1653m, 2 reverse circulation holes for piezometers, 8 pumping wells to maximum depth of 100m (31 at 50m, 1 at 75m, 1 at 100m) in 2011.
Surface sampling results for Li averaged 380 mg/l Li and the range for packer samples was 220mg/l Li to 420mg/l Li. Estimated porosity for the tenements down to 50m depth was 13.5%, based on analysis of drill core.3 As noted above, LSC has completed a program under the direction of its Qualified Person to verify the historical data and is satisfied that the historical data is reliable and can be used in a current resource estimate.
Sampling and QA/QC
Brine sampling for packer tests involved collection of brine from the sample interval in a 20-litre container, which was flushed with fresh brine several times prior to collection of the sample. Brine was poured into 1-litre sample bottles which had been previously flushed with fresh brine from the 20-litre container several times. Sample bottles were filled to the top to eliminate the inclusion of air and sealed with a leak proof lid. Samples were labelled and labels covered in clear tape to prevent erasure of sample information. All samples remained in the possession of the site geologist until delivery to Alex Stewart Laboratory in Jujuy, Argentina. The samples were sealed with a leak proof lid, labelled and the label covered by clear tape. Samples remained in the possession of the site until delivery to the assay laboratory.
RBRC samples were cut to length using a hack saw, bubble wrapped for protection and then placed in PVC tubes which were sealed with packaging tape. The samples were labelled and the labels wrapped in clear tape. Samples remained in the custody of the site geologist until shipped. Brine (20-litre) from each of the holes from which the samples were collected was also shipped to Daniel B. Stephens & Associates Inc. (“DBSA“) as part of the sample test protocol. DBSA is independent of LSC.
LSC has a well-developed QA/QC program. Brine assays are undertaken at Alex Stewart Argentina (“ASA”) S.A. in Jujuy, Argentina. ASA is independent of LSC and has significant experience in assaying lithium brines and is certified to ISO17025 standards. Brine assays are undertaken using ICP, gravimetric, potentiometric and volumetric methods as detailed in a press release from LSC dated April 10, 2017. ASA runs internal duplicates at a rate of 1 in 20. LSC inserts blanks and standards in sample batches at a rate of 1 in 20. Standards are internal standards developed by LSC that have been independently certified by round robin testing. LSC uses distilled water as blanks.
Qualified Person/Data Verification
The scientific and technical information included in this press release is based upon information prepared and approved by Donald H. Hains, P.Geo. Mr. Hains is a qualified person, as defined in NI 43-101 and is independent of LSC and ADY. Mr. Hains has verified all sampling, analytical and test data underlying the information contained in this press release by on-site inspection during drilling, brine sampling, and selection of RBRC samples; review of drill core photographs to verify lithology; review of certified assay certificates against the assay data base; review of pump test data; and review of RBRC results received from DBSA. There are no drilling, sampling, recovery or other factors that could materially affect the accuracy and reliability of the data.
A Technical Report prepared under the guidelines of NI 43-101 standards describing the resource estimation will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this release.
ABOUT LSC LITHIUM CORPORATION:
LSC Lithium has amassed a large portfolio of prospective lithium rich salars and is focused on developing its tenements located in five salars: Pozuelos, Pastos Grandes, Rio Grande, Salinas Grandes, and Jama. All LSC tenements are located in the “Lithium Triangle,” an area at the intersection of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile where the world’s most abundant lithium brine deposits are found. LSC Lithium has a land package portfolio totaling approximately 300,000 hectares, which represents extensive lithium prospective salar holdings in Argentina.
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Certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking information. These statements relate to future events or future performance, including statements as to timing of drilling to test deeper zones, likelihood of grades improving with depth, timing and ability to upgrade the mineral resource for Rio Grande, ability and timing to conduct further drilling, interpretation of the CSAMT and drill results, ability to complete the 2018 drill program, the possibility of reducing the sulphate content in brine and supplying sodium sulphate to lithium producers and anticipated timing to complete a NI 43-101 report on the Salar de Rio Grande and LSC’s other properties. The use of any of the words “could”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, “will”, “projected”, “estimated” and similar expressions and statements relating to matters that are not historical facts are intended to identify forward-looking information and are based on LSC’s current belief or assumptions as to the outcome and timing of such future events. Whether actual results and developments will conform with LSC’s expectations is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including factors underlying management’s assumptions, such as risks related to: drill program results; title, permitting and regulatory risks; exploration and the establishment of any resources or reserves on the Salar de Rio Grande or other LSC properties; volatility in lithium prices and the market for lithium; exchange rate fluctuations; volatility in LSC’s share price; the requirement for significant additional funds for development that may not be available; changes in national and local government legislation, including permitting and licensing regimes and taxation policies and the enforcement thereof; regulatory, political or economic developments in Argentina or elsewhere; litigation; title, permit or license disputes related to interests on any of the properties in which the Company holds an interest; excessive cost escalation as well as development, permitting, infrastructure, operating or technical difficulties on any of the Company’s properties; risks and hazards associated with the business of development and mining on any of the Company’s properties. Actual future results may differ materially. The forward-looking information contained in this release is made as of the date hereof and LSC is not obligated to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. Because of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions contained herein, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The foregoing statements expressly qualify any forward-looking information contained herein. For more information, see the Company’s filing statement on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange Inc. nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
The TSX Venture Exchange Inc. has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.
1 See LSC News Release dated February 2, 2018.
2 See LSC news release dated January 24, 2018.
3 See LSC news release dated January 22, 2018.
4 See technical report titled “Review of Four Lithium Exploration Properties in Argentina” dated January 27, 2017 with an effective date of December 31, 2016 and filed on LSC’s SEDAR profile.