Vancouver, B.C. August 11, 2015: International Lithium Corp. (the “Company” or “ILC”) (TSX VENTURE:ILC.V) is pleased to provide an update on the Mariana Project in Argentina and the Avalonia Project in Ireland.
The Mariana lithium brine project in Salta province, Argentina and the Avalonia lithium pegmatite project in Counties Carlow and Wicklow in Ireland are joint ventures with strategic partner Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., (“GFL”). GFL is a leading China based lithium products manufacturer working to vertically integrate their lithium business and secure supplies of lithium raw materials. The work summarized here is the result of the 2014/2015 exploration budget for both projects, estimated at CAN $2,645,000.
Programs on both projects were completed within the allocated budget. The Company is currently in discussions with GFL over budgets proposed for exploration programs on both projects.
Mariana Project – Salta, Argentina
As announced on June 1, 2015 a 171-metre core recovery drill hole (“DHMA15-09PW”) was completed near the centre of Salar de Llullaillaco approximately 20 metres from drill hole DHMA12-07, a reverse circulation (“RC”) drill hole. Drill hole DHMA15-09PW confirmed the presence of two aquifers. One aquifer is from surface to 30 metres while the other is from 53 to 119 metres.
Analytical results from the 2015 drill hole are similar to those from the 2012 drill program, for example the interval from 6.3 to 111.5 metres averages 318 mg/L lithium, 9,255 mg/L potassium and 605 mg/L boron. Table 1 compares the lithium results from drill hole DHMA15-09PW with those of DHMA12-07.
Analytical results from samples collected at DHMA10-01 and -02 (located 890 metres to the east and 950 metres to the west, respectively) are also consistent with the results from DHMA15-09 and DHMA12-07 indicating a uniform concentration of metals and metal ratios over a large surface area as well as throughout the two aquifers.
Analytical results taken during the pump tests remained consistent even after long periods of pumping further supporting the concept that metal concentrations within Salar de Llullaillaco may be homogenous over a large area.
Table 1: 2015 Brine Sample Results compared with 2012 results for drill hole DHMA12-07.
|Mg / Li|
The uniformity of the brine chemistry is an important property of the aquifer as it will simplify the development of a robust process path.
A series of three pumping tests were carried out on the well battery centred on DHMA15-09. These tests were:
- An initial two-hour constant rate test at the maximum pumping capacity of 9.5 L/sec to test equipment function, ensure proper well development and test the aquifers.
- Step tests at 4.4, 5.9, 7.2 and 8 L/sec to test flow rate and brine level draw down as well as efficiency of the pumping well.
- 24 hour constant rate test at 8 L/sec followed by a 12-hour recovery test to test aquifer storability and transmissivity.
The results of the pumping tests report:
- Well design performs at a high level of efficiency, 88%.
- Well can support a very high pumping rate up to 350m3/hr (97 L/sec).
- Brine level achieves a steady state within minutes of the cessation of pumping indicating that the aquifer transmits brine rapidly and does not rely on storage capacity.
- Both aquifers have a high transmissivity averaging 5,544m3/day.
The results continue to confirm that Salar de Llullaillaco (a halite dominant, mature salar) bears a significant stratigraphic and hydrogeological resemblance to prominent salars in the region including Atacama, Rincon and Uyuni.
Avalonia Project – Ireland
As announced on June 1, 2015 a programme of mapping, prospecting and geochemical sampling over the 30 kilometre strike length of the lithium-pegmatite belt has been completed and a preliminary interpretation of the results concluded.
Twelve (12) new targets were identified through geochemical surveys and prospecting, bringing the total to 21 targets now identified within the belt as having a high probability of containing spodumene bearing pegmatite. Only 7 of these targets have had any drill testing with three showing significant spodumene intersections and elevated lithium concentrations.
The pegmatite belt is buried under soil cover with very little outcrop making exploration difficult. Targets are considered blind and historically, lithium pegmatites were located by prospecting for spodumene bearing boulders – often observed in field walls. The regional and detailed geochemical surveys were designed to test the belt in areas between the lithium bearing boulder trains. The surveys have successfully outlined the main lithologies through cover and subsequent drill testing confirms that pegmatites can be traced by soil geochemistry.
A small 680 metre drill program of fifteen (15) holes was conducted over two target areas more than three kilometres apart. Each area had a line of short holes drilled across the target. At the first target several pegmatite bodies were intersected but none with significant spodumene. At the second target area spodumene bearing pegmatite grading 1.29% Li2O over 1.60 metres was intersected at shallow depth, adjacent to subcrop containing spodumene (MON15-09). In addition, part of the secong target area successfully tested below a lithium soil anomaly for a blind bedrock source. MON15-14 intersected pegmatite grading 2.24% Li2O over 0.71 metres. All widths are reported in core length and do not reflect true width. Both tests in the second area confirm the viability of the exploration methods used for advancing exploration targets to the delineation drilling stage.
Oriented core technology was used at both targets to maximize collection of structural data and confirm the orientation of the pegmatite bodies to better target future drilling campaigns. Previous pegmatite drilling experience indicates that granitic pegmatites can occur in proximity to spodumene and rare metal bearing pegmatites. Further work is planned at both target areas.
Work reports, as required by the Energy and Mines Division, Republic of Ireland, are now submitted for the eight prospecting licenses.
The goal for future exploration programs will be to 1) identify the contact zone between the pegmatites and the country rocks with greater accuracy using detailed magnetic surveys and if warranted other geophysical methods, 2) continue detailed geochemical surveys and trenching to refine drill targets, 3) drill test new targets for bedrock sources and 4) conduct delineation drilling on established lithium pegmatites.
Future exploration plans call for a significant increase in the budget to effectively test high priority target areas.
Mr. Kirill Klip, President, International Lithium Corp. comments, “Our projects are advancing in tandem with rising lithium prices. The lithium supply chain is being stressed even before the commissioning of the Tesla Gigafactory and other megafactories from BYD, Foxconn, Boston Power and LG Chem. Our joint ventures with Ganfeng Lithium demonstrate that cooperation between companies with varying expertise in the raw materials supply chain can work to secure a supply of strategic commodities. In this case, lithium which is necessary for the clean energy initiatives announced by the U.S. and China. These two countries alone will provide mass markets for electric cars and home energy storage units increasing the demand for lithium batteries.”
John Harrop, P.Geo, FGS, is the Company’s Qualified Person on the project as defined under NI 43-101 and has reviewed the technical information contained in this press release.
About International Lithium Corp.
International Lithium Corp. is an exploration company with an outstanding portfolio of projects, strong management ownership, robust financial support and a strategic partner and keystone investor GFL International, a fully owned subsidiary of Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., a leading China based lithium product manufacturer.
The Company’s primary focus is the Mariana lithium-potash brine project, within the renowned South American “Lithium Belt” that is the host to the vast majority of global lithium resources, reserves and production. The 160 square kilometre Mariana project strategically encompasses an entire mineral rich evaporate basin that ranks as one of the more prospective salars or ‘salt lakes’ in the region.
Complementing the Company’s lithium brine project are rare metals pegmatite properties in Canada and Ireland. These projects reported highly encouraging lithium mineralization in drill holes targeting pegmatites that are unexposed at surface (news releases dated April 3,2013 and June 25, 2013).
With the increasing demand for high tech rechargeable batteries used in vehicle propulsion technologies and portable electronics, lithium is paramount to tomorrow’s “green-tech” economy. By positioning itself with solid development partners and acquiring high quality grass roots projects at an early stage of exploration, ILC aims to be the green tech resource explorer of choice for investors and build value for its shareholders.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
President, International Lithium Corp.
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. Statements in this press release other than purely historical information, historical estimates should not be relied upon, including statements relating to the Company’s future plans and objectives or expected results, are forward-looking statements. News release contains certain “Forward-Looking Statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions and are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company’s business, including risks inherent in resource exploration and development. As a result, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.