Alpha Lithium Corporation, Vancouver, Canada, (TSX.V: ALLI) (OTC: ALLIF), sole owner of one of the last large, undeveloped salars in Argentina’s Lithium Triangle, has mobilized a drilling rig and is launching a fully-funded, three phase program in the Tolillar Salar. The purpose of the drilling program is to collect lithium brine samples from depth and utilize those to start evaluating the Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE”) processes that the Company intends to employ.
The Company has organized all necessary local logistics and support and has mobilized a well-known high-performance drilling rig to undertake the first two drill holes, Phase One, of Alpha’s Three Phase drilling program.
Phase One is being drilled by Andina Perforaciones SRL, utilizing a rig that has been consistently deployed in neighboring Hombre Muerto for many months. The rig has performed extremely well for POSCO in Hombre Muerto and utilizes a crew that has worked together, on this rig, for many years. To limit unnecessary downtime, and the resulting time and cost consequences, the Company considers crew and equipment reliability as particularly important factors in rig selection.
Company CEO, Brad Nichol, notes, “We are tremendously excited to be kicking off our inaugural drilling program at a time when global uncertainty abounds. Although Phase One targets are not expected to be as prolific as future phases, we have made the decision to move ahead with these wells first because we have licenses in hand. Other drilling licenses expired during covid-induced government shutdowns and the Company had no ability to file the simple extension documents. Government offices have reopened, and those extension applications have been submitted.” Nichol added, “From previous efforts and brine studies on the Tolillar Salar, we have high confidence in the presence of a low-impurity, lithium-bearing brine; thus, we will utilize rotary drilling to bring large volumes of brine to surface.”
The first two holes are planned to reach relatively shallow depths of approximately 50 and 100 meters, respectively. The rotary drilling techniques being used provides wellbores that (i) are capable of production in the future and (ii) can immediately produce brine for detailed chemical analysis and provide information regarding formation deliverability.
The Company’s new chemical process engineering team members intend to fully analyze brine samples and deliverability data in an effort towards optimizing specific DLE processes.
Mr. Nichol concludes, “Our team in Argentina has proven again that they are able to consistently deliver results, even while facing formidable logistical challenges such as operating remotely at over 4,000 meters above sea level, high-altitude weather, COVID restrictions and government shutdowns. We fully expect to have the drilling license extensions in-hand for Phase Two before Phase One is completed and we expect to move seamlessly to the next level of drilling. We have high hopes for Phase One, as our geophysics identified large, thick, contiguous targets that we’re now investigating. Starting a drilling program, only nine months after starting the company, is a considerable achievement for the entire Alpha team, and especially our shareholders.”
Further to the Company’s press releases of October 28, 2020 and November 10, 2020, Alpha is currently launching Phase One of its drilling program at the Tolillar Salar project to better understand the quantity and concentration of lithium available for extraction, thereby allowing the Company to assess the economic feasibility of the project prior to undertaking production decisions.
About Alpha Lithium
Alpha Lithium is a growing team of industry professionals and experienced stakeholders focused on the development of the Tolillar Salar. Together, we have assembled 100% ownership of what may be one of Argentina’s last undeveloped lithium salars, encompassing 27,500 hectares (67,954 acres), neighboring multi-billion-dollar lithium players in the heart of the renowned “Lithium Triangle”. Other companies in the area exploring for lithium brines or currently in production include Galaxy Lithium, Livent, and POSCO in Salar del Hombre Muerto; Orocobre in Salar Olaroz; Eramine SudAmerica S.A. in Salar de Centenario; and Gangfeng and Lithium Americas in Salar de Cauchari.