CleanTech makes progress at Chile lithium projects

By Josh White

Date: Friday 29 Sep 2023

CleanTech makes progress at Chile lithium projects

(Sharecast News) - Explorer and developer CleanTech Lithium reported progress at its sustainable lithium projects in Chile on Friday.
The AIM-traded company said the Llamara Project, a greenfield exploration project, is stationed in a vast basin in Northern Chile, covering a 605 square kilometre area under its licence.

It said the primary purpose of its maiden drill programme was to assess the lithium prospectivity from two different targets, including a subsurface brine aquifer and a surface evaporite mineral.

Although the initial brine samples from the first well revealed a reduced presence of lithium, the surface samples indicated a slight lithium enrichment.

Those surface samples also showed high concentrations of boron.

CleanTech said it was currently waiting for the results of a second batch of surface samples, and depending on those outcomes, it would then decide on the subsequent exploration phase at the Llamara Project.

At the Salar de Atacama Project, CleanTech said it had successfully registered applications for new licences encompassing 377 square kilometres in the globally-leading Salar de Atacama basin.

Exploration had already yielded its first positive outcome, with a subsurface brine aquifer target identified from the initial section of its geophysics programme.

The firm said the Chilean government regarded Salar de Atacama as a strategic salar, so any large-scale commercial development in the area would require forming a joint venture.

It said the state entity would be expected to retain a majority stake of 51% in such a partnership - a condition that CleanTech said was fitting for a basin of such strategic magnitude.

CleanTech added that community involvement in the project was paramount, adding that its emphasis on direct lithium extraction (DLE) - a method that eliminates the requirement for evaporation ponds - offered a promising alternative for sustainable and low-impact lithium production in the region.

While the exploration stage projects offered potential growth, CleanTech maintained its primary focus on the more advanced Laguna Verde, which currently had a preliminary feasibility study underway, and the Francisco Basin, where a scoping study had been concluded.

"While we continue to progress our key projects Laguna Verde and Francisco Basin, exploration at additional prospects in Chile is also advancing," said chief executive officer Aldo Boitano.

"At our Llamara project, we are in the process of receiving and evaluating the results, while initial geophysics results from new licences applied for recently at the Salar de Atacama basin are very positive.

"We will continue to update the market on how we move forward with these projects."

At 1253 BST, shares in CleanTech Lithium were flat at 50p.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.


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