Arena drills 441 mg/l lithium over 275 metres at Sal de la Puna, Argentina

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Arena Minerals Inc. [AN-TSXV; AMRZF-OTC] has completed the first exploratory drill hole (R-01) on the Fortuna II claim block, which forms part of the Sal de la Puna project (SDLP project) located in the Pastos Grandes basin within Salta province, Argentina.

The rotary exploratory hole is the first to test the eastern subbasin of Pastos Grandes and intersected a continuous brine column from 240 metres to 515 metres downhole. This 275-metre brine column averaged 441 milligrams per litre (mg/l) lithium (Li).

The discovered aquifer is dominated by medium to fine sands with minor halite, bound by upper and lower clay horizons that could act as confining layers if proven continuous. This discovery suggests Pastos Grandes high-quality brine continues to the eastern subbasin and may be hydraulically connected. The brine maintains its favourable high-quality geochemistry with an average magnesium to lithium ration of 5.6 and sulphate to lithium ration of 11.2; both comparable to the Pastos Grandes main basin brines.

William Randall, President and CEO, stated, “This discovery, on the first exploration drill hole completed by Arena, opens a whole new portion of the basin for resource growth, and greatly exceeds our expectations. The quality of the aquifer and discovered brine suggests that this eastern sub-basin could be productive and potentially expand the size of our business model in the future.” He added, “The exploration drill rig has moved on to test other claims in the basin, where we hope to further expand the brine bearing aquifers on our land holdings.”

Resource definition drilling has been completed on the main Almafuerte and Graciela claim blocks of the SDLP Project. DDD-01 at Graciela reached a total depth of 700 m. Brine was encountered at 120 m downhole and continued down to drill depths. The hole encountered dominantly clay rich lithologies. The upper portion of the brine column has been sampled using HydraSleeves. Samples are pending laboratory analysis.

A third rotary drill is drilling a new production well at the Alamafuerte claim block.

Two rotary drills are operating on the exploration claim blocks. Drill hole R-01 has been completed on the Fortuna claim block, located in the eastern sub-basin of the Pastos Grandes basin, as described above.

Two additional exploration holes are being drilled at Barreal II and Patovica I claim blocks. R-02 has been drilled to a total depth of 80 metres below surface at Patovica I with a target depth of >400 m. R-03 has been drilled to a final depth of 617 metres below surface on Barreal II. Detailed logs and sampling of both these holes are pending.

Arena is operating the drill program on behalf of Sal de la Puna Holdings Ltd., which is jointly owned by Arena (65%) and Ganfeng New Energy Technology Development (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. {1772.HK; GNENF-GNENF) (35%).

The drill program initially focused on the Almafuerte and Graciela blocks which border Lithium America’s Pastos Grandes project to the south and south-east and consists of 3,000 metres with the objective of both increasing the category of the current resource and increasing the SDLP Project’s resource base. Exploration holes are designed to test previously undrilled portions of the Pastos Grandes basin with the objective of expanding the resource beyond the known aquifers in the Almafuerte and Graciela claims blocks.

The company further announces that it has granted 1,000,000 incentive stock options to Directors, Officers, and Employees of the company. The option to purchase Arena Gold common shares at a price of $0.50 per common share with an expiry date of December 30, 2025.

Arena owns 65% of the Sal de la Puna Project covering approximately 11,000 hectares of the Pastos Grandes basin located in Salta, Argentina. Arena has developed a proprietary brine processing technology using brine type reagents derived from the Antofalla project with the objective of producing more competitive battery grade lithium products.

Arena also owns 80% of the Atacama Copper property within the Antofagasta region of Chile, and 5.8 million shares of Astra Exploration. The projects are at low altitudes, within producing mining camps in infrastructure-rich areas, located in the heart of Chile’s premier copper mining district.


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