|Lipeņa/Bonete Pastos Grandes About Lithium Disclosure||Pastos Grandes, Lithium Brine Project, Bolivia
The Pastos Grandes project is located in the Sud Lipez province within the Department of Potosi, Bolivia, at an elevation of approximately 4,200 metres. The Pastos Grandes salar is part of the Bolivian Altiplano which is host to many alkaline and saline lakes and salars. Salars are composed of brines and salts rich in many minerals including lithium, potassium and boron. Bolivia is known to host the world's largest undeveloped lithium brine resource.
The Pastos Grandes salar is approximately 120 km2 and is located in a basin surrounded predominantly by mountainous terrain with intermittent rivers and thermal springs that discharge waters into a central lake. New World's total land position at Pastos Grandes is 75.12 km2, which represents approximately 62% of the entire Pastos Grandes salar. The area is accessible via numerous roads, with services available at the nearby town of Uyuni, 161 kilometres to the northeast. This town of approximately 21,400 people is an important transport hub, accessed via a network of packed dirt roads, or by commercial airport.
Pastos Grandes is one of some 200 alkaline, saline lakes and salars in the area. It covers approximately 120 square kilometres trending northwest-southeast, composed of a thick sequence of sediments with a late Miocene pyroclastic basement.
Chemical analysis of the brine show that Pastos Grandes fits the alkaline type salar based on the concentrations of (Na-Ca-SO4-Cl), with high concentrations of lithium (Li), boron (B), and potassium(K), average totaling: 1,033 parts per million (ppm), Li, 378 ppm B, 7,766 ppm K.
The size of other major brine deposits range globally from 200 million to 1.3 billion metric tons with grades ranging from 0.015% to 0.125% lithium.
Pastos Grandes as seen from space. Note the central
lake and several streams, photo courtesy of NASA
click to enlarge
The Company commissioned Dr. Teresita Kullberg to evaluate historical Pastos Grande brine samples and to compare the results to known lithium brine deposits of South America. Dr. Kullberg holds a PhD in Inorganic/Physical Chemistry and has extensive background in lithium chemistry, having worked for FMC Lithium and Chemetall Foote Corporation for a total of 26 years. Her experience ranges from laboratory research and development to pilot plant to production. She worked directly on the Atacama Salar of Chile through Chemetall Foote's subsidiary company Sociedad Chilena de Litio (SCL).
Excerpt from the Report entitled, 'Salar de Pastos Grandes -- Evaluation of Brine Samples' dated April 12, 2009;
"Preliminary conclusion from the data shows that the low Mg/Li ratio of 2.2 in the Pastos Grandes brine is very promising for a viable, profitable and economical Li recovery. Its brine composition mix with Li content > 1,000 ppm is competitive against the currently processed brines in Chile and Argentina. Additional investigation of this valuable lithium and potassium resource is recommended."
Historical brine chemical data of Pastos Grandes*
Li = lithium, K = potassium, Mg = Magnesium, Ca = Calcium, SO4 = sulphate, ppm = parts per million
As a quick estimate for assessing the feasibility of extraction, higher K/Mg and SO4/Mg ratios enhance the potash recovery from the preferred production method utilizing solar evaporation ponds. Moreover, lower Mg/Li and SO4/Li ratios facilitate lithium recovery.
Below is a table comparing the historical brine samples of Pastos Grandes to other brine deposits in production in South America:
In conclusion the report states:
"The Salar de Pastos Grandes represents brine of excellent quality for lithium and potassium recovery. While it is much smaller in size compared with the Salar de Uyuni, its composition mixture of Li, Mg, Ca, K, SO4, may be easier to process economically. The Mg/Li ratio of 2.2 is less than the Atacama ratio of 6.4. Additional studies are recommended for the Salar de Pastos Grandes."
The historical results and the work that generated them pre-date the enactment of NI 43-101, and accordingly may not meet the requirements of the policy.
During 2009, the Company completed a brine sampling program to expand and confirm the historical data. The Company mobilized a highly experienced brine sampling team that collected brine and water samples on a modified grid covering the entire Pastos Grandes salar. The results are consistent with historical sampling conducted by the US Geologica Survey and the University of La Paz and continue to return significant lithium values and consistently low magnesium to lithium ratios.
In 2011, The Company commenced a drill program that consisted of an initial pilot hole at each site to identify the depth and thicknesses of the aquifers present, followed by the drilling of a cluster of holes within a radius of approximately 15 metres from the pilot hole. Each hole within the grouping independently tested one of the aquifers as identified by the pilot hole. Four out of the six drill sites completed have returned significant lithium grades and attractively low magnesium to lithium ratios and sulphate to lithium ratios.
2011 Drill Program Results
(1) Released - August 24, 2011
*Previously released - January 18, 2011
Management continues to review all opportunities that would greatly benefit the development of Pastos Grandes. The Company will announce any developments on this front as soon as anything material occurs.
In February 2009, the Company through a wholly owned subsidiary, New World Resource Bolivia S.A. ("New World Bolivia") signed a joint venture agreement (the "Agreement") with Gonzalo Miranda Salles and María Elena Gumucio Salles (together, "Salles") whereby the Company was granted the option to acquire a 99% interest in the concession holding within the Pastos Grandes salars. The remaining 1% interest in the project will be held by Salles as a free carried interest, although Salles's share of the net proceeds from production may be purchased by New World Bolivia at any time for US$250,000. The Agreement does not provide for any minimum work commitment, and will have a term of 20 years.
In October 2009, the Company through New World Bolivia, signed a joint venture agreement with Mr. Alberto Sivila whereby the Company was granted the option to acquire a 97% free carried interest of the concession holding within the Pastos Grandes salars. The remaining 3% interest in the project will be held by Mr. Sivila. At any time during the term of the joint venture agreement, US$500,000 can be paid to acquire an additional 2% interest in the joint venture. The joint venture agreement does not provide for any minimum work commitments, and will have a term of 15 years.
In May 2010, the Company finalized a joint venture agreement with Kellguani whereby the Company was granted the option to acquire a 99% interest in Kellguani's 711 hectares within the Pastos Grandes salars. The agreement stipulates that Kellguani will have exclusive rights to the exploitation of the Ulexite within the 711 hectares. The joint venture agreement does not provide for any minimum work commitments, and will have a term of 20 years.
Pastos Grandes Photo Gallery
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