• Two bore holes are being drilled to accelerate development of the Incahuasi salar
  • DLE pilot testing is progressing with partner Summit Nanotech
  • Plans for a 1,000tpa commercial-scale demonstration facility are underway


Special Report: Next phase drilling of Power Minerals’ Salta lithium brine project in Argentina has kicked off with two bore holes to provide pump testing at the Incahuasi salar for well-field design and data for a mineral reserve.

Power Minerals’ (ASX:PNN) recently completed PEA for its Rincon salar produced showed the potential to produce high purity, battery grade lithium carbonate (LCE) at an impressive internal rate of revenue (IRR) of 42%.

Rincon is pegged to be developed as a low-cost, 7,000tpa operation with US$194.8 million annual revenue over an initial 14-year operation and the lithium-brine developer is now turning its attention to proving up Incahuasi.

PNN’s tenure is surrounded by in-production projects by Arcadium (formerly Allkem), Ganfeng, Lithium Americas and Rio Tinto, providing the junior with the advantage of existing infrastructure and access to power and water.

Power Minerals (ASX:PNN)
The Salta project salars and surrounding projects. Pic supplied: (PNN)


Bore hole tests ahoy!

Two eight inch wide bore holes will be drilled at the Incahuasi salar and outfitted for pump tests designed to stimulate the reservoir and provide data for well-field design, a hydrological model and eventually a mineral reserve.

The holes will be drilled to depths of 350m and are situated at the drill locations of PNN’s previous mineral resource drilling platforms at Incahuasi – PM22-IN-001 and PM22-IN-002.

PNN says the work will be accompanied by geophysical monitoring, assays and quality controls and is expected to be completed by Q2 this year.

Power Minerals (ASX:PNN)
Planned pump well locations at the Incahuasi salar at the Salta project. Pic supplied: (PNN)


DLE tech at Incahuasi

In partnership with Canadian-based Summit Nanotech, PNN is testing direct lithium extraction (DLE) techniques on Incahuasi brines using Summit’s denaLi tech.

PNN has now shipped 60,000L of brines to Summit for testing and upon its success, Power and Summit together plan to build an onsite commercial-scale demonstration facility at Incahuasi, with a targeted production capacity of 1,000tpa of lithium carbonate concentrate.

PNN MD Mena Habis says this current phase of drilling represents another significant step in the development of the Incahuasi salar.

“The drilling program will enable us to conduct pump tests, which will provide vital data that will help us plan the well-field design for planned future lithium brine production and confirm the hydrological model and Mineral Reserve at this key salar.

“In conjunction with the ongoing testwork program being undertaken on Incahuasi brines by our DLE technology partner Summit Nanotech, Power and Summit are continuing to make excellent progress in our plans to advance the development of the Incahuasi salar.”




This article was developed in collaboration with Power Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.