Lithium Energy (ASX:LEL) is expecting big things from its Solaroz lithium brine project in Argentina if its conceptual exploration target is any indicator.

The company is targeting between 1.5 million tonnes (Mt) to 8.7Mt of contained lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) based on a range of lithium concentrations of between 500 milligrams per litre (mg/L) and 700mg/L of lithium.

While this quantity and grade is conceptual in nature, it is worth noting that Solaroz is surrounded by tenements held by Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Lithium America within the ‘lithium triangle’ situated in the north-west of Argentina.

This is made all the more interesting as Lithium Energy’s exploration target is comparable in size with the resource of 6.4Mt of contained LCE at Orocobre’s neighbouring Salar de Olaroz project. Orocobre currently has a market capitalisation of approximately A$2.3 Billion, principally relating to its Olaroz lithium brine project at the Salar de Olaroz where it has been extracting lithium brine and producing lithium carbonate since 2015.

It is still early days for Lithium Energy, but even proving up a resource at the low end of the exploration target will be a big win for the company.

“The Solaroz Project offers tremendous upside potential for Lithium Energy, given its highly

prospective and strategic location next to Orocobre’s producing lithium brine project,” executive chairman William Johnson said.

“We are targeting the same lithium brine mineralisation from the Olaroz Salar as that currently being extracted by Orocobre.

“This exploration target confirms the Solaroz Project as a lithium project of potentially world-class scale.

He added that Argentinean lithium brine projects have been recognised as being particularly attractive as they have some of the lowest costs on the lithium carbonate curve when compared to hard rock projects.

Exploration target

Geological modelling by the company indicates the potential for a lithium-brine hosting deep sand unit to occur beneath surficial material at depths from 200-400m over a large proportion of the Solaroz tenements.

The exploration target is based on the interpretation that the alluvial deposits upon

which the Solaroz Concessions are located – at the northwest corner of the Olaroz Salar – have been deposited relatively recently and lie directly above the productive deep sand unit of the lithium rich aquifer from which Orocobre is extracting its brine.

It covers about 78 sqkm of Lithium Energy’s tenements and is bounded to the west by a fault that is interpreted to be the western limit of prospectivity.

Upon grant of the required environmental approvals, the company plans to carry out geophysical surveys to define the basin basement morphology and thickness of the

hydrogeological units that have the potential to contain brines of economic interest.

It will then carry out a preliminary exploration drilling campaign based on the results from previous work, to assess the distribution and geochemistry of the brine and to obtain data related to basic physical parameters of the different hydrogeological units.


This article was developed in collaboration with Lithium Energy, 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.