Salar del Diablo Project
Pre-drilling exploration covered 14% of the property that included 80 linear kilometers of a time domain electromagnetic survey, geochemical sampling, geological mapping, and satellite imagery structural analysis. A 4,250 meter (about 14,000 feet), 12-hole drill program started on May 24, 2019 to intersect geophysical, geochemical, and geological targets. The drilling program was suspended on June 13, 2019 as the initial five holes did not drill deep enough to intersect any targets.
M&A became the new Operator in August, 2019.
In October, 2019, drilling resumed with a four-hole program to reach depths of 600 meters per hole. DDH-1 was drilled adjacent to the previous hole # 1 and the second hole, DDH-2, was drilled 12 kilometers to the south and adjacent to the old hole # 11. The drill rig will now be moved 50 kilometers to the south of DDH-2 to the location of DDH-3 where drilling will start before the end of April, 2020. Depending on results from DDH-3, DDH-4 maybe drilled in the same area.
Pre Drilling Results
Salar del Diablo is a 103,430-hectare (400 square mile) property that covers a large salar. The Property is located in the State of Baja California, Mexico.
Before drilling, 14% of the property had been explored by geochemical sampling, a geophysical survey, geological mapping, and satellite imagery structural analysis. A time domain electromagnetic survey of 80 linear kilometers was taken over seven lines spaced two kilometers apart that covered 150 square kilometers.
Geophysical Program Results
The geophysical survey results initially defined three major conductive zones that could be indicative of brine, which cover more than 54 square kilometers. Two of the three zones extend beyond the limits of the geophysical survey and are open ended. In addition, two of the zones may be more than 300 and 600 feet thick.
Syd Visser, President of SJ Geophysics Ltd. noted “The survey’s objective was to delineate changes in conductivity that could represent conductive layers. The Salar del Diablo was considerably more conductive than expected. As in other salars in North and South America that are in production or advanced exploration, the conductive layers could represent saline brines, which may contain elevated concentrations of lithium.”
The conductive zones are:
Is highly conductive with values less than one ohm per meter (ohm.m); Is likely more than 100 meters (about 300 feet) thick. The survey did not resolve the bottom of the zone due to its extremely high conductivity; Is six kilometers square; and Two geophysical interpreted structures (two dashed yellow lines) at the northwest and southeast ends of Zone One could act as traps, which could localize and concentrate brines that may contain lithium.
Surrounds Zone One; Is less than 100 meters (about 300 feet) thick; Is also very conductive with reading of 2.0 ohm.m which is the average value of readings that range from 1.5 ohm.m to of 5.0 ohm.m; Covers 24 square kilometers, which includes Zone One in the center; and Is open ended to both the north and south beyond the survey grid.
Is a continuously conductive zone located beneath a resistive layer; Is both east and west of Zone Two. Interpretation suggests the west side has likely been down faulted and may be originally related to Zones One and Two; Is located at 300 meters deep at the south end and shallows to 200 meters as the overlying sediments decrease in thickness; Is estimated to be 200 meters (about 650 feet) thick; Is continuously conductive with ohm.m varying between 5 and 10 ohm.m; and Is open ended to both the north and south off the grid. Zone three covers more than 30 square kilometers.
Geochemical Program Results
Over a distance of 80 kilometers, all 24 initial geochemical surface soil samples contained lithium with an average grade of 74 parts per million (ppm) lithium. Within the area of the geophysical survey, 59 additional samples have an average grade of 86 ppm lithium, which defined a 150 square kilometer lithium anomaly. The samples also assayed as high as 1.9% potassium (potash), an average grade of 400 ppm boron, as high as 10,000 ppm cesium, and a low average grade of 1.3% magnesium.
A geological map has not been completed. However, evaluation of satellite data, tufa mounds (relic hot springs) and outcrops indicate intra basin structures exist including faults in bedrock outcrop found outside the basin that trend into the Salar.
There are north-south active faults and cross cutting linear that could be cross faulting throughout the basin and adjacent to bedrock outcrops.
There are two evident features from the geological work to date:
1) the geophysical Zone One appears to be constrained at the north and south ends of the survey area by a significant increase in cross faulting; and
2) the cross faulting appears to dominate the east side of the basin and bedrock complex. These features suggest that conditions may exist to concentrate brines.
USGS-defined five geologic attributes necessary to concentrate lithium in a brine are present at Salar del Diablo that are:
1. a closed basin
2. hot springs
3. volcanic rocks enriched with lithium
4. active faults that may allow for transport of lithium into the salar basin
5. located within a region of high heat flow
All holes were drilled vertically, and because the salar sediments are horizontal, the samples approximate true thickness of the subsurface units. Sediment and rock samples were collected at approximately 6 meter intervals with the exception of water-bearing zones.
The water sample results contained nominal lithium and all of the 98 sediment samples assayed for anomalous lithium and potassium. Of the 98 sediment samples taken from the five initial drill holes the lithium grades ranged from a high of 273 ppm and a low of 7.3 ppm with an average of 47 ppm. For full drilling results see the Company’s news release of July 11, 2019 and July 25, 2019. None of the holes were drilled deep enough to intersect any of the targets so drilling was halted.
In August, 2019, OWL contracted a new Operator, Montgomery & Associates (M &A) of Tucson Arizona who proposed a four hole drill program that started on October 17, 2019 with DDH-1 reached a total depth of 650 meters and adjacent to the old drill hole # 1 with five samples taken. DDH-2 located 12 kilometers to the south of DDH-1 and adjacent to the old drill hole # 11 reached a total depth of 594 meters with one sample taken as the hole was abandoned due to sand filling the hole.
The Drill rig will now be moved 50 kilometers to the south of DDH-2 where DDH-3 will start drilling before the end of April, 2020. Mike Rosko, previously noted the location of DDH-3 is significant as there is evidence of historic and currently active hydrothermal activity that may be a source of lithium, such as in the Lithium Triangle in Argentina and Chile. Depending on results from DDH-3, DDH-4 maybe drilled in the same area.
Results from all four holes will be announced at the end of the current four hole drill program.