The Italian Job: Altamin already eyeing fresh geothermal power and lots more lithium out of Lazio
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Aussie-listed Altamin (ASX: AZI) continues to zero-in on Italy’s untapped reservoir of strategic metals, locking in twin exploration applications to open up both prospective lithium production and geothermal power generation.
With the recent lodging of two further exploration licences (EL) applications in the Lazio region of central Italy, AZI is already looking every bit the long-term and strategic supplier of base and battery metals in the EU.
The new EL applications are located to the west and southeast of Lake Bolsena, in the province of Viterbo about 80km north of Rome.
The company says the areas under both of the EL applications contain high salinity brines with a correspondingly high mineral content.
Historical drilling results indicate the regions are highly prospective for geothermal power generation, for which the underlying reservoirs have so far remained unexploited.
The limited historical sample data reviewed by Altamin to date confirms the potential for lithium content in the brines.
The plan is, if lithium is found to be present in sufficient concentration, to get straight into evaluating the potential for commercially extracting the lithium for sale to EV customers in the EU as well as the production of geothermal energy for local consumption.
The next step is for the Lazio regional government to evaluate the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) of the proposed EL work programs.
These programs are similar to those for the Campagnano EL and Galeria EL applications lodged by AZI, both of which have received exemptions from EIS assessment of their proposed work programs by the Lazio authorities.
If the ELs are granted, Altamin is poised to immediately get stuck into a desk-top study involving collection and review of all historical data collated during well construction and subsequent analysis of brine compositions.
Exploitation of high-temperature geothermal waters for electricity production is a mature and well understood industry in Italy.
The geothermal systems of Tuscany and Lazio are amongst Italy’s most prospective areas for commercial energy production (Figure 2).
From the mid-1970s through to the 1990s more than 800 geothermal wells were drilled in Italy. The average depth of the wells is far below potable water sources, at about 2,000m and in some cases over 4,000m.
This historical drilling is expected to provide an important source of information for Altamin’s project evaluation.
Altamin has also lodged applications over Monte Bianco and Corchia, the two most significant copper, cobalt and manganese-rich historical mining districts in Italy.
Altamin’s Gorno Zinc Project in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, is an advanced, historic mine with well-defined mineralisation, excellent metallurgy and an established infrastructure.
While the Punta Corna Project in Piedmont, has been historically mined for cobalt, nickel, copper and silver, and remains an active exploration project with outcropping mineralisation, and historical bulk samples grading 0.6-0.7% Co, plus Ni, Cu, Ag.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.