Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp. (TSXV: LIT) (FSE: OAY3) (OTC: PNXLF), ("Argentina Lithium" or the "Company") reports the completion of the ninth exploration hole at its Rincon West Project in Salta Province, Argentina, returning a 258 m interval ranging from 287 to 402 mg/l lithium. Two portions of this interval were not sampled, one length of 42 m and a second length of 33 m.
"Our ninth exploration hole has returned the highest peak lithium value and longest concentrated brine interval reported to date on the Rincon West project. This rich brine zone remains open to the north, clearly demonstrating the requirement to expand drilling in this direction in a future campaign. These nine holes have overall produced the results we anticipated when we began exploration a year ago, demonstrating that the concentrated brines from the neighboring salt flat extend through the western basin." stated Miles Rideout, V.P. of Exploration.
Nikolaos Cacos, CEO of Argentina Lithium added "Thus far, the Rincon West project has been a great success. We acquired our initial property at Salar de Rincon only 20 months ago. We have since added two new property blocks on the salar. With the initial drilling completed on the Villanoveño II block, our team is now working with external consultants to assess all of the data collected and to build a 3D model to support future resource estimation. Additionally, our drill contractor is scheduled to begin drilling five holes on the adjacent Rinconcita II block shortly, which should wrap up near the end of this year. We will then move our exploration focus to the Company's third property in the Rincon Salar, the Paso de Sico block further north. Recent developments have shown the Rincon Salar to be one of the standout basins in the Lithium Triangle, with two neighboring projects now entering production."
The Rincon West Project is located west and north of Rio Tinto's adjacent Rincon Project, and covers 3742.8 hectares of the salar basin. Figure 1 presents a map of the Rincon West property showing the positions of all nine completed exploration holes (see News Releases dated July 13, 2022, October 3, 2022, October 25, 2022 , January 26, 2023 and April 24, 2023). The map in Figure 1 displays the drill locations overlaid on the conductive zones delineated with TEM geophysics (see May 2, 2022 News Release; Note: the easternmost property extension, the Rinconcita II block, was acquired after the completion of the TEM survey and therefore shows no geophysics results).
RW-DDH-009 was executed with diamond drilling (HQ-diameter), permitting the extraction of core samples of the salar basin formations and recovery of brine samples where possible. Drilling was executed between February 28 and March 23, 2023 stopping at 341.0 metres depth in altered volcanics. Geophysical profiling and lining the hole with 2" diameter PVC filters and tubing were completed on March 28, 2023.
Drilling was carried out by Salta-based AGV Falcon Drilling SRL, under the supervision of Argentina Lithium's geologists.
Argentina Lithium's preferred method for brine sampling deploys a 'single packer' sampling unit during drilling. The packer sampling method allows the recovery of brine samples at specific depths while sealing the hole at the top and bottom of the interval. For single packer sampling, an inflatable seal closes the top of the interval; the lower limit of drilling represents the bottom of the interval. In certain instances, double packer sampling is conducted following the completion of drilling. In this case, inflatable seals are employed to close both the top and bottom of the sample interval. The maximum span of double packer sampling is limited to less than 4 m by the height of the drill mast and other equipment limitations.
Observations regarding RW-DDH-009
RW-DDH-009 extends drilling northwards from previous holes. From near surface to 39 m depth, gravel and sand units were crossed, with rock clasts observed in the sandy sediments below 24 m depth. Sandy beds, and also minor gravel laminations were observed from 39 m to 59 m. Below this followed 2 m of silt and then 2 m of black sands. Medium-to-fine gravels were tested between 63 m and 110 m depths, followed by ignimbrites to 155 m. From 155 m to 238 m, a medium to coarse breccia was tested containing ignimbrite clasts. This unit exhibited fracturing and alteration at several levels. Ignimbrite, certain levels with fracturing, were tested between 238 m and 266 m depths, followed by a 2 m thick altered fault zone. An auto breccia of ignimbrite containing igneous clasts was logged to 316 m. Copper oxide streaks were observed within this unit at 289.6 m. Volcanic units with increased fracturing, and also fracture filled with a green mineral, were recovered from 316 m to the bottom of the hole at 341 m.
All core samples recovered in drilling were retained for geologic logging. An extensive selection of samples has been sent for brine recovery testing at an independent laboratory. This analysis remains pending.
Analyses and QA/QC
Samples of brine were submitted for analysis to Alex Stewart International Argentina S.A. ("Alex Stewart"), the local subsidiary of Alex Stewart International, an ISO 9001:2008 certified laboratory, with ISO 17025:2005 certification for the analysis of lithium, potassium and other elements. Alex Stewart employed Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry ("ICP-OES") as the analytical technique for the primary constituents of interest, including boron, calcium, potassium, lithium, and magnesium. Measurements in the field included pH, electrical conductivity, temperature and density. The quality of sample analytical results was controlled and assessed with a protocol of blank, duplicate and reference standard samples included within the sample sequence. For the hole RW-DDH-009, one blank and one duplicate sample reported within the acceptable range. A single medium-grade and a single high-grade reference standard sample were included within the submitted sample suite. The medium-grade reference standard analyses within 2 standard deviations (SD) with less than 0.25 relative percent difference (RPD); the high-grade reference standard returned less than 3 SD of the best value; with low RPD (2.90).
Rincon West Project
The following summarizes the properties held within the Rincon West Project. Villanoveño II and Demasia Villanoveño II, totaling 2491 hectares, are held under an option whereby the Company can earn a 100% interest, as described in the Company's September 28, 2021 News Release. Argentina Lithium has also purchased the 460.5 hectare Rinconcita II property, adjacent to Villanoveño II (see August 25, 2022 News Release). The Company entered into an option agreement to earn a 100% interest in four contiguous mine concessions, the "Paso de Sico" option, totalling 791.3 hectares in the northern part of the Salar de Rincon (see October 6 News Release).
Frits Reidel, CPG is a Qualified Person as defined in National Instrument 43-101, and the Principal of Atacama Water, and is independent of Argentina Lithium. Mr. Reidel has reviewed the work carried out by the Company's exploration team at the early-stage Rincon West property. The disclosure in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Mr. Reidel.