Lexi Announces Additional Positive Geophysical Results on Over 20,000 Hectares of Brine Discoveries at Antofalla Salar
TORONTO, May 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lithium Energi Exploration Inc. (TSXV:LEXI) (“LEXI” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce further positive results from its initial geophysical surveys covering an additional 120 km2 of its concessions in the northern section of the Antofalla Salar. Measured brine densities in this salar reflect a considerable quantity of dissolved salts in these hyper-saline brines (approx. 10 times the salinity of seawater) and calculating from these known densities, these surveys denote a high probability that lithium-bearing brines underlie the entirety of the Company’s northern claim cluster.
On March 25, 2018, the Company announced positive geophysical survey results from the first 80 km2 (three of its concessions) that were studied. Consistent with the “better-than-expected” results obtained from those first three claims, each of the additional concessions surveyed to date (another 120 km2 consisting of five additional claims) in the Company’s ongoing geophysical program has detected potential lithium-bearing brine horizons throughout the entirety of these five added concessions, starting from just below surface and extending to as much as 400 meters in depth.
LEXI’s CEO, Steven Howard noted, “In our March 25th press release, LEXI reported that survey results from the first 8,000 hectares studied had ‘exceeded our expectations’. The Company is thrilled that today’s announcement is made with that same reaction. We continue to see highly conductive units that correlate with known brine aquifers, allowing us to follow these targets across our concessions. In total, we’ve now surveyed more than 20,000 hectares of concessions in our northern claim cluster covering a distance of approx. 60 km over an uninterrupted reservoir from the border with Salta Province in the north and traversing south to the northern boundary of Albemarle Corporation’s claim block. That expanse covers about one-third of the Antofalla Salar. These surveys continue to indicate that this large, sedimentary basin is likely filled with conductive brine throughout. Further, as our initial geological expectations predicted, the surveys indicate that the basin is consistently wider than just the salt pan visually observed on surface, because the Transient Electromagnetic or “TEM” images clearly illustrate the presence of brine underneath the volcanic materials that overlay much of the basin’s lateral fringes.”
During the past three months, LEXI has completed 110 line-kilometers (“line-km”) of TEM surveys over 18 survey lines covering more than 200 km2. Completion of the remaining TEM surveys planned for the northern portion of the Antofalla Salar will be completed over the next 30 days. TEM surveys illustrate subsurface conditions, including the delineation of bodies of fresh or saline water by detecting variations in conductivity with rapid data acquisition, great depth potential, and better resolution than other geophysical methods.
The data reveal volcanic units correlated to electrical resistivities of 100 Ohm-m and low-lying areas within the salar correlated to less than 1 Ohm-m, the latter depicting an upper boundary of high conductivity occurring at a constant elevation, a characteristic commonly observed over unconfined aquifers. The Company’s geophysical team, led by one of the world’s leading geophysical companies, Quantec Geoscience, continues to analyze data obtained during field acquisition. All concessions surveyed to date appear to portray extensive zones of conductive brines. These data demonstrate that the conductive horizon, expected to coincide with sediments hosting lithium-bearing brine, is likely to be continuous in this northern portion of the basin. Since the entire extent of these properties appears to contain highly conductive aquifers, the potential for lithium mineralization is indicated under all of these properties. LEXI’s team will utilize these results to target test well locations. With such compelling geophysical results, plans for LEXI’s drilling campaign will move forward to test chemistry, lithology, porosity, pump rates, and other hydrogeological factors.
Howard added, “It’s a profound step forward for the Company, as we’ve now confirmed extensive volumes of potential subsurface lithium brines in this first step of our exploration program. Every one of our surveyed concessions has tested positive for hosted brines from near surface to great depth and this is great news for LEXI. We’ve also achieved significant progress in preparing environmental and drill permit documents to enable the Company to start drilling later this year, moving us closer to our first resource estimate. LEXI continues to position itself by leveraging our core values to deliver excellence in our teamwork, property and capital management, and shareholder value.”
Although resistivity values from TEM surveys cannot confirm the presence or grade of lithium, the survey results to date have identified highly conductive zones consistent with similar lithium-bearing brine aquifers known to exist in the region. Argentina’s largest lithium producer, located just 20 km to the east of the Company’s northern cluster of claims, has been in continuous production for over 20 years. Further, published assay results from drilling in the same Antofalla Salar basin complex just 3 km south of the Company’s southernmost properties in this northern claim cluster indicate that the brines in this basin are consistently lithium bearing. The Company expressly acknowledges that such results are not necessarily indicative of drilling results that might be obtained on its own properties; however, the Company is highly encouraged that these survey results continue to produce more positive results than originally anticipated.
About Lithium Energi Exploration, Inc.
Lithium Energi Exploration Inc. is an exploration company specializing in the strategic acquisition, exploration and development of lithium brine assets in Argentina. The Company is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario and has offices in Dallas, Texas and Catamarca, Argentina. The common shares of the Company are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV:LEXI) and the Frankfurt Exchange (FR:LO9). The Company’s portfolio of prospective lithium brine concessions in the Argentina Province of Catamarca (heart of the lithium triangle) includes 90,244 hectares in and around the Antofalla Salar and a first right of refusal to acquire another 148,839 hectares, of which 110,380 hectares are located in the Antofalla Salar complex and 38,459 hectares are in the Pipanaco Salar approx. 50 km due west of Catamarca city. The Antofalla Salar complex hosts one of the largest basins in the region – over 130 km long and up to 20 km across. On September 12, 2016, Albemarle Corporation, the world’s largest producer of lithium, announced its acquisition of exclusive exploration and acquisition rights to a claim block located in the center section of this salar. In March 2017, Albemarle published its belief that the Antofalla Salar is the third largest lithium deposit in the world. With rights to over 200,000 hectares of prospective lithium properties located just west of FMC’s producing properties and offset north and south of Albemarle’s properties, the Company believes that its claim package holds the potential to deliver impressive values to its shareholders as the properties are developed.
For more information about Lithium Energi Exploration, Inc., please visit www.lithiumenergi.com or view the Company’s filings at www.SEDAR.com.
The scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Caitlin Jeffs, P.Geo., a consultant of the Company, and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chief Financial Officer and Director
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Lithium Energi Exploration, Inc.
Tel: 416 276-6689
Fax: 888 909-1033
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange 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.
This news release contains "forward-looking information" and "forward-looking statements" (collectively, "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "plans", "budget", "scheduled", "forecasts", "estimates", "believes" or "intends" or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results "may" or "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions and estimates of management of the Company at the time such statements were made. Actual future results may differ materially as forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to materially differ from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors, among other things, include: receipt of all necessary stock exchange and regulatory approvals or consents in respect of any offering, the absence of material changes with respect to the Company and its businesses; possible variations in mineralization, grade or recovery rates; actual results of exploration activities; conclusions of future economic evaluations; fluctuations in general macroeconomic conditions; fluctuations in securities markets; fluctuations in spot and forward prices of commodities; fluctuations in currency markets (such as the Canadian dollar to United States dollar exchange rate); change in national and local government, legislation, taxation, controls, regulations and political or economic developments; risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining (including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations pressures, cave-ins and flooding); the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development (including the risks of obtaining necessary licenses, permits and approvals from government authorities); and title to properties. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of the Company believes, or believed at the time, to be reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure its shareholders that actual results will be consistent with such forward-looking statements, as there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended.
Readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release. Except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law.