Ultra Resources Inc. (TSX-V: ULT) (“Ultra Resources” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce that the Company has signed a drilling contract with Los Arcangeles SA to carry out drilling and brine sampling on its 100% owned Laguna Verde brine lithium project in Catamarca Province, Argentina.
The exploration work is aimed at achieving the following objectives:
- Identify the depth of the Laguna Verde basin.
- Confirm the potential of the aquifer in terms of porosity, permeability and effective porosity.
- Assess the quality of the brine in terms of content of lithium and other salts.
- Log the number and types of aquifers (shallow, intermediate and deeper) and their thickness with the potential to host economically viable lithium brine mineralization.
Los Arcangeles SA is scheduled to commence mobilization in the second week of January to set up the field camp and transport drilling equipment. Initially the contract is for drilling 3 rotary drill holes, one to depth of up to 400 metres and two to a depth of up to 200 metres below ground surface. Additionally, a diamond drill hole will be completed to define subsurface stratigraphy and for carrying out in-situ density / permeability tests of various sedimentary units down to a depth of up 400 metres. Once the drill hole is completed, the contractor will also arrange technical support for carrying out pump tests, brine sampling, and down hole geophysical surveys.
The Company has hired Mr. Horacio Garkus, of Salta, Argentina, who is an experienced geologist in brine lithium projects to supervise drilling, core logging, sampling, pump tests and other geological/ hydrogeological aspects of the project. Ultra Resources is also looking for the services of a qualified consultant to carry out brine resource estimation subject to the success of the upcoming drill program.
The government of Catamarca has approved the exploration program and issued a drilling permit and has communicated with the ministry of mining regarding start date of work and other details. The Company has also received clearance from the local communities of Antofalla and Antofagasta de La Sierra towns for the exploration program. The Company will continue to communicate and coordinate with the local communities as the exploration program progresses. These communities have worked with the Company to complete the previous phases of exploration work.
Laguna Verde Brine Lithium Project Highlights
Laguna Verde is a new brine lithium discovery where exploratory sampling conducted by Ultra Resources has shown lithium values in the range of 34.2 to 1,270 milligrams per liter (mg/L) – (see ULT press release dated February 2, 2018). The Laguna Verde mineralized brines are marked by low magnesium to lithium ratios, in the range of zero to 10.2 which can result lower production costs. The Company’s previous exploration work from 2017-2021 included surface brine sampling, ground geophysical surveys and bench scale evaporation testwork.
In 2018, the Company also completed 39.2-line-kilometers of ground geophysical survey. The survey results indicate high value brine lithium exploration targets in a salar core area of 3.4 square kilometers within a 23 square kilometre, 100 to 150 meter thick sedimentary basin with the potential to host lithium-brines. Interpretation of gravity survey data shows a major fault system exists to the east of the Laguna Verde Salar and also indicates the presence of a 2.4-kilometer-thick Cenozoic basin, which requires further exploration.
In 2018, a bench scale evaporation test of approximately 4,000 litres of brine sample from Laguna Verde was carried out in Ultra Argentina laboratories located in Salta. The density of the original brine sample was 1156 and its lithium concentration was 391 ppm. Two types of evaporation tests were conducted. The first test included evaporating 179 litres of brine sample in an external pool located outside to match natural evaporation conditions. The results indicate that in a period of five months, the brine volume was reduced from 16 cubic metres (m3) to 3 m3 and lithium concentration increased from 391 to 6,760 ppm. Major salts produced during this process were Halite, Felsobanyaite, Silvite, Lithium Sulfate and Potassium, Carnalite, Kainite and Gypsum. The second test was conducted inside in controlled conditions. The results indicated that the original brine volume of 2,326 m3 was reduced to 85.06 m3 and the lithium concentration increased from 391 to 7,370 ppm (see ULT press release dated September 24, 2021).
The technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Afzaal Pirzada, P.Geo., a qualified person, as defined by NI 43-101 who works as Vice President Exploration of the Company.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kiki Smith, CFO
About Ultra Resources Inc.
Ultra Resources is an exploration and development company with a focus on the acquisition and development of lithium, gold, and copper assets. The Company holds a brine lithium property in Argentina, and hard rock spodumene type lithium properties at the Georgia Lake / Forgan Lake area in northwestern Ontario, Canada, and a brine lithium property in the Big Smoky Valley, Nevada, USA. The Company also holds other gold and base metals properties in Argentina.