ALTAMIN, new lithium in brine geothermal applications in Italy

ALTAMIN Limited has announced that it has lodged applications for two exploration licences (ELs) in the Lazio administrative region of central Italy. The ELs are highly prospective for lithium in geothermal brines and are located at Cesano, about 50km north of Rome.

Exploitation of high-temperature geothermal waters for electricity production is a mature and well understood industry in Italy which started at the beginning of the 20th century in Tuscany, to the north of the ELs under application.

The geothermal systems of Tuscany and Lazio are amongst Italy’s most prospective  and from the mid-1970s through to the 1990s more than 800 geothermal wells were drilled mainly in the southern part of Tuscany and northern part of Lazio, including in the ELs
under application. The average depth of the wells is far below potable water sources, at about 2,000m, and in some cases over 4,000m and this historical drilling is expected to provide an important source of information for project evaluation.

In the location of the EL applications the reservoirs are dominated with high salinity brines (with correspondingly high mineral content) and the reservoirs remain unexploited for geothermal power with the historical data indicating an immediate opportunity for lithium. Brines in the Cesano area contain significant and elevated lithium values, and early studies conducted in the 1990s suggest the potential feasibility of lithium recovery from these fluids.

Test Well Cesano C1  yielded brines from a depth of 1,390m with a lithium content of 350 mg/l and 380 mg/l. For comparison, this exceeds the average 200 mg/l lithium concentrations of the brines of the Salton Sea geothermal field in California
which is regarded as the most significant lithium brine resource in the USA.

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