International Lithium Corp. (“ILC” or the “Company”) is very pleased to announce the discovery, through drilling, of the extensive distribution of high grade potash at its 100% owned, Mariana brine project located at Salar de Llullaillaco in the province of Salta, northwestern Argentina. The results demonstrate significant, consistent grades of potassium, with strong lithium and boron upside potential, remaining open at depth, in all four holes drilled.
“We are very encouraged with the results from the Phase 1 resource delineation drilling at Mariana that confirmed our belief in the potential of this multi-commodity potash-lithium-boron brine project. The observed extent of high grade potash brine encountered provides ILC the support and confidence to continue to advance our plans towards development. The objective for the next stage of exploration is to complete the remaining 10 to 12 holes needed for delineation drilling in conjunction with hydrogeological testing required to produce a reportable resource. Drilling will be designed to test structures that may control higher grade potash, lithium or boron zones" states Kirill Klip, President of the Company.
The Company has received analytical results for Phase 1 of the Resource Delineation drilling program at the Company’s 100% owned Mariana potash-lithium-boron brine project. Four (4) widely spaced drill holes (totalling 444 metres), were positioned approximately 5 km apart to characterize the subsurface strata and brine across several previously identified geological and geochemical regions within the 10 x 15 km salar (salt lake) basin. Analytical results indicate brines with potash grades significantly higher than those reported in other Argentine salars. All three target commodities - potash, lithium and boron are distributed with little grade variation within each drill hole leaving all commodities open at depth. Distribution across the salar shows increasing grades to the north and west. The Company finds the wide distribution of high potash values throughout the entire salar to depth particularly encouraging.
While the Company has always considered potash to be an important part of the mineral potential at the Mariana Project, recent drilling has identified potash as likely being the leading value resource of this multi-commodity project. Contributions from lithium and borates remain a fundamental component as we move ahead through resource delineation and further evaluation of the project.
The following tables present the ranges and averages of potassium, lithium and boron for each drill hole.
Averages in the preceding tables are not weighted and do not take into account variation in hydrogeology. Since within-hole variation in grade is minor they are believed to be appropriate preliminary characterization of the average brine encountered in the drill holes. Sample count is distinct intervals and does not include replicates and control samples.
Mariana potash results are higher grades than those reported for other Argentine salars. The following table compares Mariana with similar brine projects in northwest Argentina. The Company believes that the wide distribution of potash grades found in the drilling results provides strong encouragement for an expeditious completion of the resource delineation.
Comparison of Potassium in Argentine Salars
The following table compares drilling results from the Mariana project with published results of other salars in northwestern Argentina that have recently been actively explored for brines. Potassium values characterizing other salars are from published resource estimates except Cauchari (Orocobre) which is based on averages of samples from two drill holes. The range of values representing the Mariana project are the range of the four (4) drill hole averages reported here and are believed to accurately characterize potassium concentrations in the salar for the purpose of comparison with other salars.
Potassium (K) is a key element to all living things. Even prior to the discovery of the element, humans were familiar with potassium salts as a way to improve crop yield. Today, its primary use is still for agricultural purposes in fertilizer (about 95% of world production) with the remainder being converted to potassium carbonate and utilized in glass and in liquid detergents. The element potassium (K) is often reported or discussed as its chemical compound potash (K2O). The market for potassium (or potash) is world-wide and much larger than the lithium market.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Argentina currently imports potash needed for important agricultural applications. This indicates domestic demand for a potash producer, further promoting advancement of the Mariana project, especially given its high grade of potash. Following review of these encouraging results, the Company is preparing to complete resource delineation with the intent to move toward a primary economic assessment of the potash, lithium and boron hosted in the salar.
Reverse circulation drilling services were provided by Compañía Argentina de Perforaciones S.A (CAPSA) of Salta, Argentina.
Brine samples were analysed by Acme Analytical Laboratories (Chile) S.A. in Santiago, Chile. The lab is ISO 9001:2000 certified and is widely recognised as a leading laboratory for geochemical analysis with experience in brine analysis.
John Harrop, P.Geo, is the company's Qualified Person on the project as required under NI 43-101 and has reviewed the technical information contained in this press release. He has relied upon published data from other companies exploring salars in northwestern Argentina that he was not in a position to verify but believes to be accurate.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL LITHIUM CORP
International Lithium Corp. is an exploration company with an outstanding portfolio of projects, strong management ownership, robust financial support and a strategic partner and keystone investor Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., a leading China based lithium product manufacturer.
ILC currently has 9 active rare metals projects, well balanced between lithium-potash brines in Argentina, Nevada and hard-rock pegmatites in Canada and Ireland. The Company’s primary focus is the Mariana lithium-potash brine project, a salar or ‘salt lake’, covering an expansive 160 square kilometres and strategically encompassing the entire basin. Mariana is located in the renowned South American ‘Lithium Belt’ centred on the junction of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile that is host to the vast majority of global lithium resources, reserves and production. The Mariana lithium-potash brine project ranks as one of the more prospective salars in the region.
Complementing the Company’s lithium brine projects are the rare metals pegmatite properties. The key characteristics shared by the hard-rock rare metals projects are their limited past exploration, excellent accessibility and limited assaying for rare metals. All of which imply a clear potential for additional exploration and development as well as added project value to meet the global technological growth in demand for the rare metals suite of elements.
International Lithium Corp.’s mandate is to increase shareholder value through aggressive advancement of its core projects and to source joint venture partners to expand the scope and diversify risk of its exploration effort.
On behalf of the Board,
President – International Lithium Corp.
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