Exactly six months after hinting at the possibility of opening shop in Chile, Vancouver-based MGX Minerals (CSE:XMG) announced that by making option payments of $1.5 million, it is acquiring 50 per cent of the issued shares of Chilean Lithium Salars.
CLS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Australia’s Chilean Lithium Salars Holdings, which holds a 100 per cent interest in three prospective lithium exploration projects in the South American country.
All the projects, which will be explored by MGX at a cost of $2 million, are located in the northern part of the country, at altitudes exceeding 4,000 metres. The geology of the region is dominated by the eastward subduction zone under the entire country generating uplift that has created the Andes Mountains and the Coastal Cordillera.
One of the projects, the Francisco Basin lithium project is a lease area of 12,900 hectares located 30 kilometres south of the Maricunga salar in northern Chile. It stands within a large, fault-bound, alluvium-filled basin to the immediate south of the Copiapo Volcano.
According to MGX, two completed reconnaissance brine sampling have been carried out at Francisco Basin and both confirmed the presence of lithium enrichment in the surface brines.
The second project, the Laguna Brava project, sits in the vicinity of the salar of the same name, which is dominated by volcanic rocks and fed by active hot springs.
In a media statement, the miner said historical sampling of surface brines indicated significant lithium enrichment. “Work by Risacher et al., (2003) has shown that subsurface brines contained within the volcanic geology are of a much higher concentration, typically 250,000–350,000 mg/L TDS,” the brief reads.
Laguna Escondida is the third project the Canadian firm is looking at. It is located approximately 200 kilometres east-northeast Copiapó and, like the other two sites, it sits within the Central Volcanic Zone in the foothills of the Andes mountain range on the eastern side of Chile.
Difficult-to-access geographical locations are the bread and butter of MGX's work. The company has developed a technology that allows it to operate with a complex range of brines previously considered un-processable because they are located outside of solar evaporation appropriate zones.