Wealth Minerals has started an extensive lake-brine sampling and project evaluation programme at the Laguna Verde Lithium Project in Chile.
The 2,438ha project consists of 23 exploration mining concessions. The site is in Region III of northern Chile,193km east of the regional capital city of Copiapo.
The work programme comprises a detailed bathymetric (water depth) survey, lake-brine sampling to identify grade distribution and an independent resource calculation for the preparation of National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) technical report.
In addition, Wealth has appointed Tenova Advanced Technologies (TAT) to complete laboratory testing on the Laguna Verde lake-brine to determine possible recommendations for process design.
Wealth will also conduct a cost estimate study to analyse the capital expenditures and operating expenses for producing 20,000tpa lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) of LiOHH2O.
Wealth Minerals CEO Henk van Alphen said: "It is extremely exciting to have initiated this comprehensive project evaluation programme at Laguna Verde.
"We believe that the project offers a unique opportunity where known technologies can be applied to a comparatively less complex lithium deposit."
The bathymetric survey currently underway will determine water depths at Laguna Verde and devise a detailed map of the lake floor. Previous project operators reported that the lake was as deep as 60m.
The company will also perform a water sampling on a 1,000m by 1,000m horizontal grid at the Laguna Verde Lithium Project to get a better understanding of the vertical lithium grade distribution throughout the lake.
Wealth will also undertake continuous measurements of conductivity, temperature and pH from water surface to the lake floor.
This data will give qualitative information about horizontal stratification of lithium grade with depth.
In 2010, John Hiner for Pan American Lithium prepared a NI 43-101 technical report that revealed an inferred resource of 512,960t of LCE and 4,223,123t of potassium chloride equivalent.
Image: Laguna Verde Lithium Project in Chile. Photo: courtesy of Wealth Minerals.