NRG Metals Inc. [NGZ-TSXV: NRGMF-OTCQB; OGPN-FSE] on Thursday May 24 reported consistent high-grade brine intercepts over the first 100 metres of drilling at the Hombre Muerto North lithium project in Argentina.
NRG shares advanced on the news, rising 8.93% or $0.025 to 30.5 cents on volume of 1.3 million shares. The 52-week range is 62 cents and 9 cents.
NRG Metals is an exploration stage company, focused on the advancement of lithium brine projects in Argentina.
The Hombre Muerto North Project is located in the province of Salta, at the northern end of the prolific Hombre Muerto Salar, adjacent to FMC Corp.‘s [FMC-NYSE] producing Fenix Mine and Galaxy Resources Ltd.‘s [GXY-ASX] Sal de Vida development stage project.
On May 3, 2018, NRG said it was planning to advance a first diamond core hole to a target depth of 350 metres. On Thursday May 24, the company said brine samples collected over the first 100 metres averaged 905 mg/l Li with a low Magnesium-to-Lithium ratio. The company said the hole is now at 300.5 metres in clastic sediments and brine samples are being collected from 300 to 100 metres. Drilling will resume after the sampling is completed, the company said.
“We are very excited about the exceptional results from the initial sampling,” said NRG Metals Chief Operating Officer Jose de Castro. The lithium grades and low magnesium (Mg) to Lithium (Li) ratios exceeded our expectations,” he said. “The high grades and favourable Mg-to-Li ratios have the potential to have a very positive impact on any further capital and operating costs should the economic viability and technical feasibility of the project is established.”
On May 14, 2018, the company said it had mobilized a rotary drill located 15 metres east of the core hole. Its purpose is to carry out pump testing.Â On Thursday, the company said the rotary hole has advanced to a depth of 174 metres. Depending on the results obtained in the core hole, the target depth of the rotary hole could be 400 metres.
If the results warrant, this hole can be utilized as a production well, the company said.
In addition to Hombre Muerto North, NRG is evaluating its 29,000-hectare Salar Escondida project in Catamarca province where the company recently completed a 400-metre rotary hole. The diameter of the hole is currently being enlarged by reaming to install casing so that it can be sampled.
Lithium, known as the new energy metal, is widely used in lithium-ion batteries, aircraft alloys, aviation, atomic energy, medicine and other industries due to its unique electrochemical reactivity and other properties. Demand for lithium is expected to grow continually as a result of its key role in the production of lithium-ion batteries used to manufacture electric vehicles.