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CleanTech Lithium: Chile net zero project updates on drilling progress


London-listed lithium explorer CleanTech Lithium LON:CTL says it has confirmed the presence of sub-surface brine aquifers at both of its projects in Chile. It says it plans to be producing low or zero emissions lithium by H2 2024.

CleanTech Lithium is engaged in an eight hole drilling programme at the Laguna Verde and Francisco Basin projects, which are located in the lithium triangle in Chile. It has a total license area in excess of 175 square kilometres. Both projects are situated in basins which are entirely controlled by CleanTech Lithium, which confers significant potential development and operational advantages on the company.

Drilling programmes in line with management expectations

“The resource drilling programmes, which commenced in January 2022 at Laguna Verde and in March 2022 at Francisco Basin, are progressing well and importantly, in line with management’s expectations, confirming the presence of sub-surface brine aquifers at both projects,” explained Aldo Boitano, CEO of CleanTech Lithium. “Brine sampling is underway with assay results due in Q2 2022. These results are also expected to provide the basis for an upgraded resource estimate at Laguna Verde, and a maiden resource estimate at Francisco Basin in Q2 2022. We look forward to updating the market on our assay results and full results of our resource drilling programmes in due course.”

Projects like this one are extremely rare: the fact that CleanTech Lithium is aiming for a close to net zero or indeed net zero estimate will make it attractive to buyers of lithium given the level of sustainability of its output. This is especially true of EU buyers of lithium. Prices of lithium are already trending higher thanks to increasing demand from the battery / EV sector.

Laguna Verde: drilling to upgrade to Measured estimate

The resource drilling programme at Laguna Verde, which commenced in January 2022, is aimed at upgrading the sub-surface resource from Inferred to Measured and Indicated in accordance with the JORC Code. This will provide the basis for undertaking a Pre-Feasibility Study on the project.

The Laguna Verde project has an existing JORC compliant resource estimate of 77,834 tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) in the measured category, which comprises the surface resource, and 1.16 million tonnes LCE in the inferred category, which comprises the sub-surface resource.

A geophysics programme based on a transient electromagnetic survey was also completed in March 2022 by Geodatos. The programme supported the relocation of hole LV04 to the east side of the lake, due to accessibility problems relating to the initial location. It also tested deeper aquifer target zones on the eastern area of the licenses, to generate potential additional drilling targets.

Francisco Basin: aiming for maiden resource estimate

A resource drilling programme, consisting of four wells in total, at Francisco Basin is aimed at producing a maiden resource estimate. Two drill holes are planned in the current drill season, which ends in mid-May due to the onset of winter, and two further wells are planned for the next season, starting in October 2022.

The two wells drilled this season will form the basis for a JORC Inferred resource estimate, based on a 2.5km radius around each of the drill holes. The two wells next season are expected to provide the basis for upgrading the resource to the Measured and Indicated category.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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