Next Investors logo grey

SEI expands its lithium exploration programme in Chile

Published 17-JAN-2018 11:52 A.M.


3 minute read

Hey! Looks like you have stumbled on the section of our website where we have archived articles from our old business model.

In 2019 the original founding team returned to run Next Investors, we changed our business model to only write about stocks we carefully research and are invested in for the long term.

The below articles were written under our previous business model. We have kept these articles online here for your reference.

Our new mission is to build a high performing ASX micro cap investment portfolio and share our research, analysis and investment strategy with our readers.

Click Here to View Latest Articles

Speciality Metals International (ASX:SEI), formerly Carbine Tungsten Limited (ASX:CNQ), today advised that it will begin further exploration work for lithium brines and lithium (+borate) in northern Chile any day now.

The programme, in Chile’s northern Atacama region, is aimed at developing new lithium targets following on from the success of its previous reconnaissance sampling in 2016.

To date, SEI has been granted ten exploration concessions in two salars in the Atacama region and is awaiting the grant of a further group of exploration concessions by the Chilean Courts. The granting of these further concessions is believed to be well advanced and should come in the not-too-distant future.

SEI’s search for lithium brines is focused on the salars because there is reason to believe that evaporation over time has concentrated lithium in ground waters trapped in these salars. The salars are formed in hydraulically closed basins formed by uplift and rifting of the western margin of South America.

Of course, as with all minerals exploration, success is not guaranteed – consider your own personal circumstances before investing, and seek professional financial advice.

The fact that this evaporation has taken place is confirmed by the presence of modern salt crust and the historic nitrate and borax mining operations in the salars, both deposit types being the result of evaporation.

The applications and granted concessions are all in salars in the central belt of northern Chile, all at an altitude of around 1000 metres, and the salars typically have a surface salt crust.

The salars offer ideal situations for the construction of evaporation ponds on their flat surfaces, with the intention of pumping lithium bearing ground waters to the surface and concentrating the lithium by further evaporation in the ponds, prior to shipment to processing facilities.

SEI will use its previous work and the upcoming assays from the current work programme to plan a drilling programme, which will test each salar to sample the ground waters at depth. It will also aim to initially confirm that lithium-bearing ground waters occur in the subsurface in areas where SEI’s previous surface sampling found conspicuously anomalous lithium, boron and potassium values in surface crusts and brines accumulated in surface depressions.

As the lithium content in ground waters in these salars tends to increase in concentration with increasing depth, SEI plans to take the initial drill holes to depths of more than 100 metres.

The company expects to find that the ground waters will be hosted by the Rio Loa Formation, which is composed of limestones, dolomites, sands and gravels. This formation was deposited during the Tertiary period in all the enclosed basins throughout this region and is itself partly evaporative in origin.

Executive Chairman, Russell Krause commented of the upcoming programme:

“The additional sampling programme, designed by the company’s geological team, will provide important insights into where the best locations for lithium brines exist within the company’s Chilean exploration concessions. This will enable the geological team to prepare a drilling program to test these target areas.”

SEI expect to commence its drilling programme once results from this reconnaissance work is received.

General Information Only

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd (S3, ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’) (CAR No. 433913) is a corporate authorised representative of LeMessurier Securities Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 296877). The information contained in this article is general information and is for informational purposes only. Any advice is general advice only. Any advice contained in this article does not constitute personal advice and S3 has not taken into consideration your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Please seek your own independent professional advice before making any financial investment decision. Those persons acting upon information contained in this article do so entirely at their own risk.

Conflicts of Interest Notice

S3 and its associated entities may hold investments in companies featured in its articles, including through being paid in the securities of the companies we provide commentary on. We disclose the securities held in relation to a particular company that we provide commentary on. Refer to our Disclosure Policy for information on our self-imposed trading blackouts, hold conditions and de-risking (sell conditions) which seek to mitigate against any potential conflicts of interest.

Publication Notice and Disclaimer

The information contained in this article is current as at the publication date. At the time of publishing, the information contained in this article is based on sources which are available in the public domain that we consider to be reliable, and our own analysis of those sources. The views of the author may not reflect the views of the AFSL holder. Any decision by you to purchase securities in the companies featured in this article should be done so after you have sought your own independent professional advice regarding this information and made your own inquiries as to the validity of any information in this article.

Any forward-looking statements contained in this article are not guarantees or predictions of future performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, and which may cause actual results or performance of companies featured to differ materially from those expressed in the statements contained in this article. S3 cannot and does not give any assurance that the results or performance expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements contained in this article will actually occur and readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

This article may include references to our past investing performance. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of our future investing performance.