Solaroz Lithium Brine Project

Solaroz Lithium Brine Project

Strike has rights to acquire a 90% interest in the highly prospective Solaroz Lithium Brine Project (Solaroz) within South America’s ‘Lithium Triangle’ in NorthWest Argentina.

Solaroz comprises concessions (Solaroz Concessions) totaling 12,000 hectares in area, mostly adjacent to and principally surrounded by concessions held by ASXlisted Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE – market capitalisation ~A$1 billion)  and TSXlisted Lithium Americas Corporation (TSX:LAC – market capitalisation ~C$500 million).

Solaroz is located in the same Salar de Olaroz Basin as and directly adjacent to the producing Salar de Olaroz Lithium Brine Project operated by Orocobre and its JV partner, Tokyo Stock Exchange listed Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TYO:8015).

The location of Solaroz is considered by Strike to be highly strategic and prospective for containing commercial quantities and concentrations of lithium-rich brine, since Strike believes that the aquifer which supplies the lithium-rich brine being extracted by Orocobre is likely to extend under Strike’s Solaroz Concessions.  This will be tested by geophysical work and drilling in due course with a view to fast tracking production of lithium carbonate dependent upon these works being successfully concluded.

The Solaroz Concessions comprise 8 exploitation concessions totaling 12,000 hectares (refer Figure 1) in Jujuy Province in northern Argentina, approximately 230 kilometres northwest of the capital city of Jujuy.  The Solaroz Concessions lie at an altitude of approximately 3,900 metres and are accessed by good quality road infrastructure.

 

Figure 1: Solaroz Project – Location of Concessions

The location is supported by favorable conditions in terms of both the operating environment and local infrastructure.  Very limited rainfall combined with dry, windy conditions create the ideal environment for the brine-evaporation process.

The area is also serviced by a gas pipeline which intersects the Solaroz Concessions, high voltage electricity, and paved highways.  Three major seaports, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Antofagasta and Iquique in Chile, are serviced by international carriers and are easily accessible by road and/or rail.

The Solaroz Concessions lie over the same Salar de Olaroz Basin from which Orocobre is extracting and processing lithium rich brine for sale as lithium carbonate since 2015.  The Solaroz Concessions follow and overlap into the visible white halite salt layer of the ‘salar’ (salt lake) and extend as substantial flat areas with 1 – 2 metres of elevation to the visible halite area, providing the ideal location and topography for the construction of evaporation ponds.

Figure 2: View of Solaroz Project Area, taken from Western Solaroz Concession area facing North

Figure 3: View of Solaroz Project Area, taken from Northern Solaroz Concession area facing South

Strike’s interpretation of the basin architecture is that the aquifer which supplies the lithium-rich brine being extracted by Orocobre (and targeted by other exploration and development companies in the area) extends under the Solaroz Concessions (refer Figure 4).

Geological Model

The Salar de Olaroz Basin (refer Figure 4) was formed with the appearance (approximately 14 million years ago) of volcanic mountains to the North and South, effectively forming a closed basin within an existing drainage system.  Water and lithium-rich material collected in this closed basin over time and alluvial deposits gradually filled up the basin with porous material, which today hosts the lithium-rich water.

Figure 4: Geological cross sections depicting evolution of Olaroz Salar Basin
and Strike’s primary target zone for lithium mineralisation

The potential quantity and grade of the Exploration Target is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a Mineral Resource.

The Salar de Olaroz is one of a number of land locked salt lakes located high up in the Argentinian Puna Region.  The Salar de Olaroz Basin is bounded by a pair of north-south reverse faults that thrust Andes Paleozoic sediment west to east as a result of the Pacific Plate colliding with the South American Plate.  This results in the west side of the basin being continually pushed higher which replenishes the sediment fill within the basin. 

Strike’s Exploration Target is based on the interpretation that the alluvial deposits upon which the Solaroz Concessions are located (at the North-West corner of the salar) have been deposited relatively recently and lie directly above the productive deep sand unit of the lithium rich aquifer from which Orocobre is extracting its brine (refer “Deep Sand Unit”, shown in yellow in Figure 4).  The potential quantity and grade of Strike’s Exploration Target is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a Mineral Resource.

Strike’s geological interpretation indicates that the majority of the Solaroz Concessions are likely to lie directly over the productive lithium rich aquifer.  Previously published geophysical studies undertaken by Orocobre[1] indicate that the sub-surface brine hosting aquifers appear to extend well outside the boundaries of the visible salt area and to depth and adds evidence supporting the likelihood of lithium rich brine hosted beneath the Solaroz Concessions.

Other exploration and development companies (for example, Advantage Lithium Corp. (TSXV:AAL); Millennial Lithium Corp. (TSXV:ML); Lake Resources N.L. (ASX:LKE) and Galan Lithium Limited (ASX:GLN)) have also confirmed through geophysics and drilling that lithium-rich brine hosting aquifers in Argentina tend to extend well outside boundaries of today’s visible salt pans.


[1]      Reference: Olaroz Technical Report dated 13 May 2011: Salar De Olaroz Lithium-Potash Project, Jujuy Province, Argentina