Positive Results At Terra Cotta Project In Argentina
DENVER, CO - Pure Energy Minerals Limited reported positive initial results from the geophysical exploration program at its Terra Cotta Project (TCP) located on the Pocitos Salar in Salta Province, Argentina. Preliminary reviews of the geophysical data show extensive zones of high electrical conductivity that may indicate the presence of correspondingly high-density brine. The geophysical survey delineates a central basin that is 18km by 9km oriented along a northwest-southeast axis. The technical team interprets the basin to be filled with clastic sediments and evaporites that appear to be saturated over considerable thicknesses. Results from the geophysical survey combined with data collected during a surface-sampling program, which is currently underway, will be used to select targets for an upcoming drilling program.
The geophysical exploration program consisted of a Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) survey that included 63 points at nominal 1-kilometer spacing along five transects shown in the figure to the right. The transects span Pure Energy’s 13,000 hectare mining concession on the Pocitos Salar. Conhidro S.R.L., a hydrogeological consultancy based in the city of Salta, Argentina, performed the work under contract to Pure Energy.
The VES method is widely used to identify zones of low electrical resistivity (high electrical conductivity) in the subsurface. Zones of relatively high electrical conductivity are often portions of an aquifer with correspondingly high brine concentrations.
Conhidro’s team of geophysicists and hydrogeologists constructed five east-west cross-sections and one north-south cross-section using the data collected during the geophysical survey. Each of the cross-sections showed zones of high electrical conductivity located in the center of the salar at depths ranging from the surface to over 400 meters (1,300 feet) below ground surface. The high-conductivity zones are interpreted as brine-saturated, evaporite-related clastic facies. Thin zones of higher electrical resistivity (lower electrical conductivity) near the surface are interpreted to be alluvium or other sediments that are either dry or bear fresh-water. Deeper zones of higher electrical resistivity are likely related to bedrock or halite units. The zones of high electrical conductivity extend beneath the shallow alluvial fans in the western portions of the TCP properties. The cross-section from VES Line 4 shown below illustrates the interpreted results from the geophysical survey. The highly conductive material shows up as warm red and orange colors, which are interpreted in this section to extend to over 400m below surface. Interpretations of basin stratigraphy and margins are shown in blue.
Walter Weinig, Pure Energy’s Vice President of Projects and Permitting said, “Results from the geophysical program at the Terra Cotta Project are very encouraging. The data indicate the presence of potential lithium-bearing brine over a very large basin from near surface to depths greater than we had initially expected. We look forward to the results of the shallow brine-sampling program and the selection of drill targets. We are preparing the necessary permitting documents and plan to be drilling in the fourth quarter of this year.”
Pure Energy’s Terra Cotta Project is located in the heart of Argentina’s lithium-rich Puna Region. Significant proven deposits of lithium in brine occur approximately 32 km (20 miles) north at Rincon Salar and approximately 90 km (56 miles) south at Salar del Hombre Muerto. The Pocitos Salar is directly accessible by Salta Provincial Highway 17 and enjoys excellent infrastructure, including a gas pipeline and rail line on the eastern edge of the salar and a high voltage power line only 30 km (18 miles) to the north.