Neo Lithium Corp. announced that various important milestones have been achieved at the Tres Quebradas lithium brine project in Catamarca Province, (the “3Q Project”). “The hydrological numerical model’s importance is to understand the behavior of the brine aquifer and predict brine levels under production conditions. The model is used for environmental impact reports, to complete the mine plan, and to determine the number of wells required for planned production and mine life,” said Dr. Waldo A. Perez, President and CEO of Neo Lithium Corp. “Furthermore, in regards to the new well, the production capacity of this first large size production well is remarkable because it suggests that very few production wells would be required.”
The numerical model was developed using FEFLOW hydrogeology modelling software by ILHA Research group with the involvement of Dr. Mark King, Independent Qualified Person for the Company. The model incorporates data from both drilling seasons as well as results from eleven long term pumping tests distributed along the entire salar as well as a water balance analysis.
The model demonstrates that there would be minimal or no impact to the nearby lakes to the south of the project (3Q Lake and Laguna Verde) from extraction of lithium brine from the salar for several decades under planned extraction scenarios.
This model will be the basis for the upcoming reserve estimate that will be derived from simulation of a conceptual production well system that is designed to meet engineering, hydrogeological and property constraints which control the recoverable and economically feasible portion of the resources at the project.
Completion of Production Capacity Wells
The Company has completed the first production scale well for the 3Q Project. The well is constructed with 12 inches wide steel filters down to 100 metres deep and yields 90 liters of high grade brine per second over sustained long-term periods. This production rate of high grade brine is equivalent to about 20% of the total production needs planned using the high grade brine (800 mg/L Lithium cut off).
The Company will continue building production wells in the northern high-grade zone during the upcoming austral summer to define production capacity, test the aquifer and carry on production level pump tests. The results of this first large scale well are consistent with the hydrogeological numerical model.
The Company has completed or is completing the following important environmental milestones:
- The current biannual environmental exploration and development permit has been renewed for another two years.
- The environmental baseline study has been completed and will be presented to the provincial authorities of Catamarca in September. The documentation includes analysis of the Ramsar site (wet lands environmental awareness zone) and measures taken to assure that there will be no adverse impact on flora or fauna. The studies confirm that significant nesting grounds are only found well outside the proposed mining and operations area of influence. The hydrological models also demonstrate that proposed mining operations would have no influence on areas to the south where some nesting grounds are found.
- The environmental permit for mine construction is advancing according to plan and is expected to be presented to authorities during the last quarter of the year.