Canadian Lithium mining company Neo Lithium (TSEV:NLC) have this week announced the discovery of a ‘deep aquifer with high-grade lithium‘. The find is the product of a seismic reflection survey – the first of its kind in lithium brine exploration – conducted by the company as part of its 3Q Project in Argentina.
Waldo Perez, CEO of Neo Lithium, said of the discovery: “We could not be more pleased with the drilling results of only our second drilling season, particularly the discovery of this deep aquifer as it adds a considerable blue sky to the 3Q project.”
The project takes place in Argentina’s Catamarca province, the province which produces the most lithium in the country. Argentina itself forms part of the ‘Lithium Triangle’, an area rich in lithium deposits encompassing parts of Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. Salt flats are typically targets for exploration due to their ideal environmental conditions; the abundance of brine, low rainfall and lots of sunlight. Neo Lithium’s 3Q project is even more ideally located, due to the lack of aboriginal communities or population centres nearby. This reduces environmental and community concerns which often arise from large-scale mining operations.
So what does the aquifer discovery mean for the company and for lithium mining in general? For one thing, it justifies the new seismic reflection survey method, with provides a higher resolution image of underground conditions than the typical seismic refraction method. When the survey was first concluded back in December, Mr. Perez claimed “We believe that it is the first time that it has been applied in a lithium brine project.” Secondly, the discovery of high-grade lithium is exactly what such exploration projects set out to achieve, and could hold enormous potential profits for both the company and local governments and communities. So far, a total of 2,239m of diamond drill holes and 985m of rotary drill holes have been bored into the western part of the 3Q basin.
The discovery, despite its profit-generating potential, has failed to stimulate Neo Lithium’s stocks much this week. Prices were valued at $1.83 CAD at Wednesday closing time, which in fact represented a fall of -1.09% from 24 hours prior. However, stocks do seem to be recovering from a poor performance towards the end of February, while prices are around 40% higher than they were this time last year. Investors are becoming increasingly aware of lithium mining firms, particularly as governments in countries such as Chile begin to consider ways to capitalize on what is potentially a multi-billion dollar industry. Keep an eye out for small, environmentally-considerate companies such as Neo Lithium, because a boom could be around the corner.
Featured image: Neolithium.ca