VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – The TSX-V-listed stock of energy metals junior Argentina Lithium & Energy shot up nearly 52% on Monday after the company announced that it had staked an entire salar, or salt flat, in Argentina's Incahuasi Salar and basin, in Catamarca province.
The stock movement on Monday pays testament to the hype surrounding the consumer technology metals such as lithium and cobalt, among others, as investors jostle to get in on the action, or the potential for action.
No substantial exploration had previously been undertaken on the salar, but the company reported that initial sampling of near-surface brines had returned maximum grades of 409 mg/ℓ lithium and 1.56% potassium, while geophysical surveying had indicated the potential for lithium-rich brines at depth.
"This acquisition provides the company and our shareholders full control of an exciting new project that covers the entire salar basin. Our technical advisers are very optimistic about the potential and we are moving forward with a detailed programme to identify and quantify subsurface brines," stated president and CEO Nikolaos Cacos in a press release.
Argentina Lithium is now in the process of planning a detailed exploration programme at the project.
The salar is about 17 km long north to south, and 2.5 km wide, and divided into a north and south section. The geological environment at Incahausi is similar to other salars in the Puna region where lithium and potash are found, the company said.
The project currently consists of 13 711 ha in seven properties covering 90% of the existing salar surface. The company has also lodged applications for a further 10 000 ha of property, which will complete the coverage of the salar to the south and extend the company's holdings to cover the entire basin to the north.
Latin America’s ‘Lithium Triangle’, encompassing Argentina, Chile and Bolivia is a regional mining bright spot, as rising lithium prices encourage investment in and development of a robust project pipeline over the coming years.
Argentina Lithium's share price reached an intraday high of C$0.47 apiece, before settling at C$0.46 a share at market close.