Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 1480G
CleanTech Lithium PLC
17 July 2023
 

17.07.23

CleanTech Lithium PLC ("CleanTech Lithium" or the "Company")

 

Upgraded JORC Resource to 1.8 million tonnes of LCE at flagship Laguna Verde project,

of which Measured & Indicated Resource increased by 39% to 1.1 million tonnes LCE,

Reinforcing economic potential

 

CleanTech Lithium PLC (AIM:CTL, Frankfurt:T2N, OTCQX:CTLHF), an exploration and development company advancing sustainable lithium projects in Chile for the EV transition, announces an upgraded JORC resource estimate of 1.8 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent ("LCE") at a grade of 200mg/L lithium at the Laguna Verde project. This upgrade includes a significant increase (39%) in the Measured and Indicated resource to 1.1 million tonnes LCE, including a large increase (174%) in the Measured resource.

This increase to the Measured and Indicated resource will be used in the Pre-Feasibility Study ("PFS") which is currently underway. This study reinforces the project's path to production, capital requirements and will support CleanTech Lithium's engagement with potential strategic partners.

Summary of the upgrade:

Table 1: Comparison of Laguna Verde JORC Resource Estimates: September 2022 and July 2023

This resource estimate is in line with the Board´s expectations with the increase in the Measured + Indicated category now sufficient for a production rate of 20,000 tonnes per annum of battery grade lithium carbonate for a >30-year operation.

Highlights:

·    Following successful drill programmes in 1H 2023, the JORC resource estimate at Laguna Verde has been upgraded to 1.8 million tonnes of LCE at a grade of 200mg/L Lithium

·    Measured and Indicted resource increased by 39% to 1.1 million tonnes LCE, of which Measured increased by 174% to 0.46 million tonnes LCE

·    At the PFS/DFS stage when mining reserves are calculated, Measured resources are used to develop proven reserves and Indicated resources to probable reserves, so the large increase in Measured resource bodes well for PFS/DFS stage reserve calculation

·    This follows a recent pump test programme completed on the two infill wells that supports the bore field flow rates of 30L/s that were modelled in the Laguna Verde Scoping Study announced in January 2023

·    Total capex spend on the Laguna Verde drilling and testing campaign forecast at £2.25m was within 3% of the approved budget

·    For the Company´s second project, Francisco Basin, a resource upgrade is expected in the coming weeks based on the results from the five wells drilled in 1H 2023

·    This will be followed soon afterwards by the Francisco Basin Scoping Study which is already well advanced.

Commenting, Aldo Boitano, Chief Executive Officer, of CleanTech Lithium PLC, said: "We are very encouraged by this upgrade in the Laguna Verde resource estimate to 1.8 million tonnes of LCE with 1.1 million tonnes now in the Measured + Indicated category, providing more confidence in the resource potential and further de-risking of the project after an extensive work programme this year.

The resource estimate provides the basis for the Pre-Feasibility Study currently underway with a base case production rate of 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per annum. We expect the study will reaffirm the economic potential for this project as we advance the use of Direct Lithium Extraction to supply green lithium to the EV industry."

 

Further Information

 

Project Background

The Laguna Verde Project is located in Chile and has a licence area of 67km2 covering a steep valley shaped basin which at its low point features a hypersaline lake (´Laguna´) covering 15.2km2. A thick sub surface aquifer starts from shallow depths covering an area of approximately 55 km2. This sub surface aquifer is the basis for the resource estimate at the Project.

The previous resource estimate for the Laguna Verde was reported in September 2022, based on three wells completed in 1H 2022. To upgrade the resource estimate to a higher confidence level, a drill programme based on two infill wells was undertaken in the first half of 2023. The location of wells completed in 2022 and 2023 are shown in Figure 1.

 

A map of a lake Description automatically generated

Fig. 1: Laguna Verde Drill Hole Map

Resource Summary

The 2023 resource estimate showing the key inputs in the calculation and the change vs the previous 2022 estimate is shown below in Table 2. The upgraded resource estimate represents an increase in the total resource of 17% to 1.8 million tonnes LCE and including a 39% increase in the Measured and Indicated category to 1.1 million tonnes LCE, within which the Measured resource increased 174% to 0.5 million tonnes LCE. This represents a large increase in the confidence level of the resource estimate.

Table 2: Updated JORC Resource Estimate 2023

Geological Setting

The Laguna Verde basin is an elongated shaped basin aligned on a NW-SE axis bounded on all sides by volcanic mountain ranges that rise to elevations above 6,000m. The topographical low point of the basin features a hypersaline surface lake or Laguna which has an area of 15.2km2 and an average depth of approximately 4m. The surface or margin of the Laguna is at an elevation of approximately 4,332m. The presence of the Laguna leads to the classification of Laguna Verde as an immature salar basin.  A geological profile of the basin is presented in Figure 2 which was built from surface geology mapping, a gravimetric survey in the basin completed for the Cerro Casale mine environmental impact assessment as reported by SRK in 2011, a gravimetric survey completed in Laguna Verde in January 2023 and from geological information provided by the 2022 - 2023 drill programme.

Fig. 2: Laguna Verde Geological Profile A - A´

An interpretation of the general stratigraphic column based on stratigraphy of the six completed drill holes and the January 2023 gravimetry survey, which aligns with the geological profile, is shown in Figure 3. Laguna Verde general stratigraphy is characterised by a band of approximately 200m thick ash tuffs with intercalations of volcanic sedimentary deposits that are dominant in the southern area of the graben. The tuffs overlie volcanic sedimentary deposits with fine gravels intercalations, that extend from approximately 250m to 400m, until the andesitic basement at 3,900m above sea level (a.s.l) average, reaching a maximum depth at 3,680m a.s.l. according to the January 2023 gravimetry survey. The volcanic sedimentary deposits are dominant in the northern area of the Laguna Verde graben. The brine aquifer was sampled in the drillholes for more than 400m, from approximately 4,309m a.s.l. to the basement level.

 

Fig. 3: Laguna Verde General Stratigraphy Column Interpretation

 

Drilling Programme

A resource drill programme consisting of six wells was designed to test a resource area based on the interpreted extent of a low resistivity brine aquifer identified by a transient electromagnetic geophysics survey. The planned hole locations are shown in Figure 1. A first drilling programme comprising drill holes LV01 - LV04 was undertaken from March to the end of May, 2022, when the programme was suspended due to the onset of winter weather conditions which prevented the sampling of LV04. Well LV01 was completed to a depth of 474m, LV02 reached 339.4m, LV03 reached 547.5m and LV04 311m. Two infill wells, LV05 and LV06, were completed in 1H 2023 reaching depths of 434.6m and 405m respectively.

 

Drilling Method

The four-hole programme (LV01 - LV04) used diamond drilling initially with PQ3 (122mm diameter) to a depth of 320m and then HQ3 (95.7mm) to final depth. Drillholes LV01, LV02 and LV04 were cased with 3-inch PVC. LV03 could not be cased because drilling HWT rods and tools were stuck in the well during drilling. The infill drilling programme, LV05 and LV06 utilised a reverse circulation flooded system. The wells were drilled with a 14 ¾ -inch diameter to the final depth, then an 8-inch diameter PVC casing was installed with silica gravel used to pack the casing. The PVC casing is slotted over the depth interval of the brine aquifer. This is a wide diameter well design which is suitable for the high-volume pump tests required for final feasibility level hydrogeological modelling, and ultimately for conversion to production bores in a commercial stage operation.

Fig. 4: Drill Rig and Auxiliary Equipment at LV05, 2Q 2023

Brine Sampling Collection and Analysis

Brine was sampled with two methods, suction samples and bailer samples. After completion of the well with 8-inch PVC and silica gravel, a well development process including purging the well of three well volumes of brine followed, then a minimum 5-day stabilisation period applied. Suction samples were collected via air lifting of samples into a 20-litre bucket. Samples were taken from every 6m support level. This operation used a rig with a compressor as shown in Figure 5. Bailer samples were then collected by a specialist water sampling contractor, using an electronic bailer that is raised and lowered with an electric cable winch as shown in Figure 6. Bailer samples were collected every 6m.

 Fig. 5: Suction Sampling with Compressor           Fig. 6: LV05 Bailer Sampling using Electric Winch

Samples were sealed in clean polyethylene bottles, labelled and package on site for shipment to ALS Life Science Chile laboratory in Santiago. The suite of element analysis covered B, Ca, Cu, Li, Mg, K, Na, CACO3, CL, SO4, TDS and Density. A detailed QA/QC procedure was applied for sample collection and analysis. Analyses for LV01, LV02 and LV03 were used for the Laguna Verde resource reported in a RNS dated 13 September 2022. Analyses for LV05, LV06 and reconditioned well LV02 were reported in a RNS dated 6 June 2023. The average lithium analyses for LV04 was only 25mg/l and this drill hole is clearly outside the lithium brine of interest.

 

Sediment Sampling and Specific Yield Calculation

Core samples were obtained every 10m from drill holes LV01 - LV04 (drilled in 2022). Undisturbed diamond drillhole core samples with 3 to 5-inch length in both PQ and HQ diameter were obtained for testing (Fig. 7).  Samples were prepared and sent to Daniel B. Stephens & Associated, Inc. laboratory (DBS&A) in New Mexico, USA.

A picture containing text, wooden, wood Description automatically generated A picture containing text, wooden, measuring stick Description automatically generated

Fig. 7: Core Samples for Porosity Laboratory Tests from September 2022

 

Samples underwent Relative Brine Release Capacity laboratory tests, which predict the volume of solution that can be readily extracted from an unstressed geological sample. This method by itself is insufficient for calculating an effective porosity (specific yield) value for resource estimation as the laboratory test is performed on an unstressed core sample and doesn´t account for the host lithology geotechnical condition. To attain a more realistic specific yield value, the rock quality designator ("RQD") logged during the drilling was used with a regression analysis. This provided specific yield values that are consistent with the basin lithology.

Brine release tests were not carried out for drill holes LV05 and LV06 (drilled in 2023) as these were drilled with a reverse flooded system where only drill cuttings and not core were available.

Resource Model

The sub-surface geological 3D model was built modifying the September 2022 3D model, discarding the resource volume in the LV04 area and adding an extension on the north-east exploration area according to the Transient Electro Magnetic (¨TEM¨) profile surveyed in that zone in January 2023 as shown in Fig. 8.  

 

A screenshot of a computer generated image Description automatically generated

Fig. 8: Sub-Surface 3D Geological Model Construction

 

The 3D model was constrained vertically at the ceiling by the brine intervals intercepted in each of the five wells completed in the resource area, and at the bottom by the basement intercepted in drill holes LV01, LV02 and LV05 and by a gravimetry survey with this model output shown in Fig. 9.

A screenshot of a computer generated image Description automatically generated

Fig. 9: 3D Geological Model with Brine Aquifer Clipped to Drilling Intercept Derived Ceiling/Basement

 

Resource Categorization

Sub-surface resource criteria was based on the recommended sampling grid distances of the complementary guide to the CH 20235 code to report resources and reserves in brine deposits. A factor in resource categorization is density of samples. Considering a higher density of samples above 4,112m a.s.l., the sub surface resource categorisation was split for above and below 4,112m a.s.l. The block model output for the above and below 4,112m a.s.l. level is shown in Figures 10 and 11.  

Fig. 10: Resource Category Block Mode Output for Above A.S.L. 4,112m a.s.l.

 

 

 

Fig. 11: Resource Category Block Mode Output for Below A.S.L. 4,112m a.s.l.

 

Resource Calculation

The following tables summarise the Laguna Verde Resources updated calculation separated by resource category with the total resources presented in the final Table 7. For the calculation of resources in Lithium Carbonate, an industry standard 5.323 factor was applied over the Li mass.

 

Total Resource Measured

Surface Lagoon Volume

m3

59,490,027

Sub Surface Volume

m3

3,597,600,000

Sub Surface Porosity

%

10.4%

Total Effective Volume

m3

432,344,899

Average Grade Li

mg/l

199

Li Mass

tonne

86,158

Measured Resource (Lithium Carbonate Equivalent)

tonne

458,617

Table 3:  Laguna Verde Total Measured Resources

 

Total Resource Indicated

Volume

m3

6,328,320,000

Porosity

%

10.1%

Effective Volume

m3

637,481,322

Average Grade Li

mg/l

194

Li Mass

tonne

123,639

Indicated Resource (Lithium Carbonate Equivalent)

tonne

658,130

Table 4:  Laguna Verde Total Indicated Resources

 

Total Resource Measured + Indicated

Total Effective Volume

m3

1,069,826,221

Average Grade Li

mg/l

196

Li Mass

tonne

209,797

Measured + Indicated (Lithium Carbonate Equivalent)

tonne

1,116,747

Table 5:  Laguna Verde Total Measured + Indicated

 

Total Resource Inferred

Volume

m3

6,030,000,000

Porosity

%

9.8%

Effective Volume

m3

590,621,990

Average Grade Li

mg/l

208

Li Mass

tonne

122,567

Inferred Resource (Lithium Carbonate Equivalent)

tonne

652,426

Table 6:  Laguna Verde Total Inferred Resources

 

Total Resource Measured + Indicated + Inferred

Total Effective Volume

m3

1,660,448,212

Average Grade Li

mg/l

200

Li Mass

tonne

332,364

Measured + Indicated + Inferred Resource (Lithium Carbonate Equivalent)

tonne

1,769,173

Table 7:  Laguna Verde Total Measured + Indicated + Inferred Resources

Note: The Resources above are reported under JORC Code, 2012 Edition. The Company, which is the operator of the LV project, holds 100% interest in the LV Project (directly and under option agreement) and accordingly the above are all gross figures.

 

 

CleanTech Lithium PLC

 

Aldo Boitano/Gordon Stein

Jersey office: +44 (0) 1534 668 321

Chile office: +562-32239222


Or via Celicourt

Celicourt Communications         

+44 (0) 20 8434 2754

Felicity Winkles/Philip Dennis

 

 

cleantech@celicourt.uk

Beaumont Cornish Limited

(Nominated Adviser)

Roland Cornish/Asia Szusciak

 

+44 (0) 207 628 3396

Fox-Davies Capital Limited

(Joint Broker)

Daniel Fox-Davies

 

Canaccord Genuity Limited

(Joint Broker)

James Asensio

Gordon Hamilton

 

 

+44 20 3884 8450

 

daniel@fox-davies.com

 

+44 (0) 207 523 4680

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Competent Person

The following professional acted as qualified person, as defined in the AIM Note for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies (June 2009):

·    Christian Gert Feddersen Welkner: The information in this release relates to drilling results, geology, brine assays reports, sediment sampling / specific yield calculation and resource calculation are based on information compiled by Christian Gert Feddersen Welkner, who is an independent Qualified Person to the Company and is a Member of Comision Calificadora de Competencias en Recursos y Reservas Mineras Chile that is a 'Recognised Professional Organisation' (RPO). Mr Feddersen has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'. Mr Feddersen consents to the inclusion in the press release of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

 

The information communicated within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No 596/2014 which is part of UK law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. Upon publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain. The person who arranged for the release of this announcement on behalf of the Company was Gordon Stein, Director and CFO.

 

Notes

 

CleanTech Lithium (AIM:CTL, Frankfurt:T2N, OTCQX:CTLHF) is an exploration and development company advancing next-generation sustainable lithium projects in Chile for the EV transition.  Proudly sustainable, committed to net-zero, our mission is to produce material quantities of battery grade, carbon-neutral lithium using sustainable Direct Lithium Extraction technology, powered by clean energy, we plan to be the greenest lithium supplier to the EV market.

 

CleanTech Lithium has three prospective lithium projects - Laguna Verde, Francisco Basin and Llamara - located in the lithium triangle, the world's centre for battery grade lithium production. The Laguna Verde and Francisco Basin projects are situated within basins entirely controlled by the Company, which affords significant potential development and operational advantages. Llamara is the Company's latest greenfield project, which offers material potential upside at a low initial cost. All three projects have direct access to excellent infrastructure and renewable power.  

 

CleanTech Lithium is committed to using renewable power for processing and reducing the environmental impact of its lithium production by utilising Direct Lithium Extraction. Direct Lithium Extraction is a transformative technology which removes lithium from brine, with higher recoveries and purities. The method offers short development lead times, low upfront capex, with no extensive site construction and no evaporation pond development so there is no water depletion from the aquifer or harm to the local environment. 

 

**ENDS**

 



 

Laguna Verde - JORC Code, 2012 Edition - Table 1 report template

Section 1 Sampling Techniques and Data

(Criteria in this section apply to all succeeding sections.)

Criteria

JORC Code explanation

Commentary

Sampling techniques

·    Nature and quality of sampling (eg cut channels, random chips, or specific specialised industry standard measurement tools appropriate to the minerals under investigation, such as down hole gamma sondes, or handheld XRF instruments, etc). These examples should not be taken as limiting the broad meaning of sampling.

·    Include reference to measures taken to ensure sample representivity and the appropriate calibration of any measurement tools or systems used.

·    Aspects of the determination of mineralisation that are Material to the Public Report.

·    In cases where 'industry standard' work has been done this would be relatively simple (eg 'reverse circulation drilling was used to obtain 1 m samples from which 3 kg was pulverised to produce a 30 g charge for fire assay'). In other cases more explanation may be required, such as where there is coarse gold that has inherent sampling problems. Unusual commodities or mineralisation types (eg submarine nodules) may warrant disclosure of detailed information.

·    Lagoon samples correspond to water brine samples from the surface lagoon, in an 800 m sampling grid, including eight (08) sampling duplicates in random positions. The samples were taken from 0.5 m depth and, for positions with above 5 m depth a bottom sample were also obtained.
 

·    For every sample, two (02) liters of brine were obtained with a one-liter double valve bailer, using a new bailer for each sampling position. All materials and sampling bottles were first flushed with 100 cc of brine water before receiving the final sample.

·    Sub surface brine samples were obtained with four methods: Packer sampling, PVC Casing Suction sampling, PVC Casing Discardable Bailer sampling, and PVC Casing Electric Valve Bailer.

 

·    For the Packer sampling, a packer bit tool provided by the drilling company (Big Bear) was used. Once the sampling support was sealed, a purging operation took place until no drilling mud was detected After the purging operation, half an hour waiting took place to let brine enter to the drilling rods through the slots in the packer tool before sampling with double valve bailer.

·    Successive one-liter samples with half an hour separation were taken with a steel made double valve bailer. Conductivity-based TDS was measured in every sample with a Hanna Multiparameter model HI98192. The last two samples that measure stable similar TDS values were considered as non-contaminated and identified as the Original and Reject samples.

·    Packer samples were obtained every 18 m support due the tools movement involved to take every sample.

·    PVC Casing Suction brine samples were extracted after the well casing with 3-inch PVC and silica gravel and the well development (cleaning) process. The well development includes an injection of a hypochlorite solution to break the drilling additives, enough solution actuation waiting time and then, purging of three well volumes operation to clean the cased well from drilling mud and injected fresh water.


·    The developing process was made by OSMAR drilling company using a small rig, a high-pressure compressor and 2-inch threaded PVC that can be coupled to reach any depth. The purging/cleaning operation is made from top to bottom, injecting air with a hose inside the 2-inch PVC and "suctioning" the water, emulating a Reverse Circulation system.

·    Once the well is clean and enough water is purged (at least three times the well volume) and also, is verified that the purged water is brine came from the aquifer, the PVC Casing Suction samples are taken from bottom to top, while the 2-inch PVC is extracted from the well. A 20-liter bucket is filled with brine and the brine sample is obtained from the bucket once the remaining fine sediments that could appear in the sample decant.

·      PVC casing Suction samples were taken every 6 m support due the disturbing and mixing provoked by the suction process.  Conductivity-based TDS (Multi-TDS) and Temperature °C are measured for every sample with the Hanna Multiparameter.

·      After the development process and PVC Casing Suction sampling, a stabilization period of minimum 5 days take place before this sampling to let the well match the aquifer hydro-chemical stratigraphy.

·      PVC Casing Discardable samples were obtained by JCP Ltda.  specialists in water sampling. Samples were taken from the interest depths with a double valve discardable bailer. The bailer is lowered and raised with an electric cable winch, to maintain a constant velocity and avoid bailer valves opening after taking the sample from the desire support. A new bailer was used for each well

·      Discardable Bailer samples were obtained every 6 m support to avoid disturbing the entire column during the sampling process. Conductivity-based TDS (Multi-TDS), Temperature °C and pH were measured for every sample with the Hanna Multiparameter

·      In the first quarter of 2023 Electric Bailer samples were taken from wells LV05, LV06 and LV02, after its proper development. The samples were obtained from the interest depths with a one litter electric

·      bailer, that seals in the sampling support with an electric valve activated by the operator. This sampling process was made by Geodatos specialists. 

·    On all sampling procedures the materials and sampling bottles were first flushed with 100 cc of brine water before receiving the final sample

·    Packer samples are available in wells LV01, LV02 and LV03. PVC Casing Suction samples are available in wells LV01, LV04, LV05 and LV06. PVC Casing Discardable Bailer samples are available in wells LV01 and LV02. Electronic Bailer samples are available in wells LV02, LV05 and LV06.

 

Drilling techniques

·    Drill type (eg core, reverse circulation, open-hole hammer, rotary air blast, auger, Bangka, sonic, etc) and details (eg core diameter, triple or standard tube, depth of diamond tails, face-sampling bit or other type, whether core is oriented and if so, by what method, etc).

·    On wells LV01 and LV03 diamond drilling with PQ3 diameter were used up to 320 m depth. Below that depth the drilling diameter was reduced to HQ3

·    On wells LV02 and LV04 diamond drilling with PQ3 diameter were used to their final depth 

·    In both diameters, a triple tube was used for the core recovery.

·    Packer bit provided by Big Bear was used to obtain brine samples (Except in drillhole LV04).

·    Drillholes LV01, LV02 and LV04 were cased and habilitated with 3" PVC and silica gravel. LV03 was not possible to case due well collapse and tools entrapment

·    Wells LV05 and LV06 were drilled with Reverse Flooded method in 14 ¾ inches diameter to their final depth

·    Both wells, were cased and habilitated with 8-inch PVC and inert gravel  

Drill sample recovery

·    Method of recording and assessing core and chip sample recoveries and results assessed.

·    Measures taken to maximise sample recovery and ensure representative nature of the samples.

·    Whether a relationship exists between sample recovery and grade and whether sample bias may have occurred due to preferential loss/gain of fine/coarse material.

·    Diamond Core recovery were assured by direct supervision and continuous geotechnical logging

·    For LV05 and LV06 only cuttings were recovered for geological logging purposes

Logging

·    Whether core and chip samples have been geologically and geotechnically logged to a level of detail to support appropriate Mineral Resource estimation, mining studies and metallurgical studies.

·    Whether logging is qualitative or quantitative in nature. Core (or costean, channel, etc) photography.

·    The total length and percentage of the relevant intersections logged.

·    Continue geological and geotechnical logging took place during drilling

·    For the surface lagoon brine samples, Ph and Temperature °C parameters were measured during the sampling.

·    For the sub surface brine packer samples conductivity-based TDS and Temperature °C parameters were measured during the sampling

·    Samples taken on first 2023 quarter, conductivity-based TDS, Temperature °C and pH were measured during the sampling procedure

Sub-sampling techniques and sample preparation

·    If core, whether cut or sawn and whether quarter, half or all core taken.

·    If non-core, whether riffled, tube sampled, rotary split, etc and whether sampled wet or dry.

·    For all sample types, the nature, quality and appropriateness of the sample preparation technique.

·    Quality control procedures adopted for all sub-sampling stages to maximise representivity of samples.

·    Measures taken to ensure that the sampling is representative of the in situ material collected, including for instance results for field duplicate/second-half sampling.

·    Whether sample sizes are appropriate to the grain size of the material being sampled.

·      During the brine samples batch preparation process, the samples were transferred to new sampling bottles. Standard (internal standard composed by known stable brine), Duplicates and Blank samples (distilled water) were randomly included in the batch in the rate of one every twenty original samples. After check samples insertion, all samples were re-numbered before submitted to laboratory. Before transferring each sample, the materials used for the transfer were flushed with distilled water and then shacked to remove water excess avoiding contamination. The author personally supervised the laboratory batch preparation process.

·      From 2023 Standards, Duplicates and Blank samples (distilled water) were randomly included in the batch in the rate of one every ten original samples.

 

Quality of assay data and laboratory tests

·    The nature, quality and appropriateness of the assaying and laboratory procedures used and whether the technique is considered partial or total.

·    For geophysical tools, spectrometers, handheld XRF instruments, etc, the parameters used in determining the analysis including instrument make and model, reading times, calibrations factors applied and their derivation, etc.

·    Nature of quality control procedures adopted (eg standards, blanks, duplicates, external laboratory checks) and whether acceptable levels of accuracy (ie lack of bias) and precision have been established.

·      During 2022, brine samples were assayed on ALS Life Science Chile laboratory, by Li, K, B, Mg, Ca, Cu and Na by ICP-OES, method described on QWI-IO-ICP-OES- 01 Edisión A, Modification 0 EPA 3005A; EPA 200.2.

·      From year 2023 the samples were also assayed on ALS Life Science Chile laboratory by ICP-OES method, described on QWI-IO-ICP-OES- 01 Edisión A, Modification 0 EPA 3005A; EPA 200.2, but now the full element suite was requested as recommended by Don Hains in his auditory  

·      Total Density use the method described on THOMPSON Y, TROEH DE. Los suelos y su fertilidad.2002. Editorial Reverté S.A. Cuarta Edición. Págs.75-85.


·      Chlorine detemination described on QWI-IO-Cl-01 Emisión B mod. 1 Método basado en Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 23st Edition 2017. Método 4500-Cl-B QWI-IO-Cl-01 Emisión B, mod. 1. SM 4500-Cl- B, 22nd Edition 2012.

·      Total Disolved Solids (TDS) with method describe on INN/SMA SM 2540 C Ed 22, 2012

·      Sulfate according method described on INN/SMA SM 4500 SO4-D Ed 22, 2012

·      Duplicates were obtained randomly during the brine sampling. Also, Blanks (distilled water) and Standards were randomly inserted during the laboratory batch preparation.

·      The standards were prepared on the installations of Universidad Católica del Norte using a known stable brine according procedure prepared by Ad Infinitum. Standard nominal grade was calculated in a round robin process that include 04 laboratories. ALS life Sciences Chile laboratory was validated during the round robin process.

·      Check samples composed by standards, duplicates and blanks were inserted in a rate of one each twenty original samples during year 2022.

·      From year 2023, check samples composed by standards, duplicates and blanks were inserted in a rate of one each ten original samples

·      For the 2023 QA/QC process, a new set of standards were internally prepared on the Copiapó warehouse installations, using 200 liters of brine obtained from well LV02 during the development process. Standard nominal Lithium grade was calculated in a round robin process that include 04 laboratories (Ch. Feddersen Standards preparation, statistical analysis, nominal valuation & laboratories analysis, February 2023)


·      For the bathymetry a Garmin Echomap CV44 and the Eco Probe CV20-TM Garmin were used. The equipment has a resolution of 0.3 ft and max depth measure of 2,900 ft.

·      The bathymetry data was calibrated by density, using 1.14 g/cm3, modifying the propagation velocity from the nominal value 1,403 m/s (1 g/cm3 density at 0°C) to a corrected value of 1,660 m/s (1.14 g/cm3 density at 0°C), reducing the original bathymetry depth data in 15%

·      For the TEM Geophysical survey a Zonge Engineering and Research Organization, USA equipment was used, composed by a multipurpose digital receiver model GDP-32 and a transmitter TEM model ZT-30, with batteries as power source.

·      For the first survey campaign, made in May, 2021 a coincident transmission / reception loop was used, were 167 stations use 100x100 m2 loop and 4 stations use 200x200 m2 loop, reaching a survey depth of 300 m and 400 m respectively, arranged in 11 lines with 400 m of separation.

·      For the second TEM geophysical survey made in March 2022, 32 TEM stations, arranged in 6 lines, with 400 m separation were surveyed. A coincident Loop Tx=Rx of 200 x 200 m2 that can reach investigation depth of 400 m were used for this survey

·      For the third TEM geophysical survey made in January 2023, 14 TEM stations arranged in 2 lines with 400 m separation were surveyed. A coincident Loop Tx=Rx of 200 x 200 m2 that can reach investigation depth of 400 m were used for this survey

·      The equipment used for the Gravimetry geophysical survey was a Scintrex portable digital model CG-5 Autograv, type "microgravity meter", with a 0.001 mGal resolution with tidal, temperature, pressure and leveling automatic correction system

·      The topographic data measured during the gravimetry survey were acquired with a double frequency differential positioning equipment, brand CHC NAV, model I-80 GNSS, that consists in two synchronized equipments, one fix at a known topographic station and the other, mobile through the surveyed gravimetry stations

·      January 2023 Gravimetry survey consists in the measure of 111 gravimetry stations with 200 m to 300 m separation, arranged in four lines around the lagoon area            

Verification of sampling and assaying

·    The verification of significant intersections by either independent or alternative company personnel.

·    The use of twinned holes.

·    Documentation of primary data, data entry procedures, data verification, data storage (physical and electronic) protocols.

·    Discuss any adjustment to assay data.

·    The assay data was verified by the author against the assay certificate.

·    Data from bathymetry and geophysics were used as delivered by Servicios Geológicos GEODATOS SAIC

·    Geological and geotechnical logs were managed by geology contractor GEOMIN and checked by the competent person

·    Brine samples batches were prepared personally by the competent person or according to his instructions. All data are in EXCEL files   

Location of data points

·    Accuracy and quality of surveys used to locate drill holes (collar and down-hole surveys), trenches, mine workings and other locations used in Mineral Resource estimation.

·    Specification of the grid system used.

·    Quality and adequacy of topographic control.

·    Samples coordinates were captured with non-differential hand held GPS

·    The bathymetry coordinates were captured by differential Thales Navigation differential GPS system, consisting in two GPS model Promark_3, designed to work in geodesic, cinematic and static modes of high precision, where one of the instruments is installed in a base station and the other was on board the craft.

·    The TEM geophysical survey coordinates were captured with non-differential hand held GPS.

·    Drillhole collars were captured with non-differential hand held GPS. Position was verified by the mining concessions field markings. Total station topographic capture of the drillhole collars is pending

·    Gravimetry stations were captured with a double frequency differential positioning equipment, brand CHC NAV, model I-80 GNSS, that consists of two synchronized pieces of equipment, one fix at a known topographic station and the other, mobile through the surveyed gravimetry stations 

·    The coordinate system is UTM, Datum WGS84 Zone 19J

·    Topographic control is not considered critical as the lagoon and its surroundings are generally flat lying and the samples were definitively obtained from the lagoon

Data spacing and distribution

·    Data spacing for reporting of Exploration Results.

·    Whether the data spacing and distribution is sufficient to establish the degree of geological and grade continuity appropriate for the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimation procedure(s) and classifications applied.

·    Whether sample compositing has been applied.

·    Geochemical lagoon samples spacing is approximately 800 m, covering the entire lagoon area

·    Packer brine samples were taken every 18 m

·    PVC Casing Suction samples were taken every 6 m

·    PVC Casing Bailer samples (discardable and electric) were taken every 6 m

·    For bathymetry two grids were used, one of 400 m and the other of 200 m in areas were the perimeter have more curves

·    For TEM geophysical survey a 400 m stations distance was used

·    For the Gravimetry survey a 200 m to 300 m stations distance were used

·    The author believes that the data spacing and distribution is sufficient to establish the degree of geological and grade continuity appropriate for the Resource Estimation

Orientation of data in relation to geological structure

·    Whether the orientation of sampling achieves unbiased sampling of possible structures and the extent to which this is known, considering the deposit type.

·    If the relationship between the drilling orientation and the orientation of key mineralised structures is considered to have introduced a sampling bias, this should be assessed and reported if material.

·    The lagoon is a free water body and no mineralized structures are expected in the sub surface deposits

Sample security

·    The measures taken to ensure sample security.

·    All brine samples were marked and kept on site before transporting them to Copiapó city warehouse


·    The brine water samples were transported without any perturbation directly to a warehouse in Copiapó city, were laboratory samples batch was prepared and stored in sealed plastic boxes, then sent via currier to ALS laboratory Antofagasta. All the process was made under the Competent Person direct supervision.

·    ALS personnel report that the samples were received without any problem or disturbance

Audits or reviews

·    The results of any audits or reviews of sampling techniques and data.

·    The assay data was verified by the Competent Person against the assay certificate.

·      The July 2021 JORC technical report were reviewed by Michael Rosko, MS PG SME Registered Member #4064687 from MONTGOMERY & ASSOCIATES CONSULTORES LIMITADA

 

·      In the report he concludes that "The bulk of the information for the Laguna Verde exploration work and resulting initial lithium resource estimate was summarized Feddersen (2021). Overall, the CP agrees that industry-standard methods were used, and that the initial lithium resource estimate is reasonable based on the information available".


·      The September 2022 JORC Report LAGUNA VERDE UPDATED RESOURCE ESTIMATION REPORT, data acquisition and QA/QC protocols were audited on October, 2022 by Don Hains, P. Geo. from Hains Engineering Company Limited (D. Hains October 2022 QA/QC Procedures, Review, Site Visit Report).

·      In the report he concludes that "The overall QA/QC procedures employed by CleanTech are well documented and the exploration data collected and analysed in a comprehensive manner. There are no significant short comings in the overall programme.

·      Respect the exploration program his comments are "The overall exploration program has been well designed and well executed. Field work appears to have been well managed, with excellent data collection. The drill pads have been restored to a very high standard. The TEM geophysical work has been useful in defining the extensional limits of the salar at Laguna Verde".

·      Respect the Specific Yield his comments are "RBRC test work at Danial B. Stevens Associates has been well done. It is recommended obtaining specific yield data using a second method such as centrifuge, nitrogen permeation or NMR. The available RBRC data indicates an average Sy value of 5.6%. This is a significant decrease from the previously estimated value of approximately 11%. The implications of the lower RBRC value in terms of the overall resource estimate should be carefully evaluated".

·      Several recommendations were made by Mr. Hines in his report to improve the QA/QC protocols, data acquisition, assays, presentation and storage. His recommendations have been considered and included in the exploration work schedule since October 2022.

 



 

Section 2 Reporting of Exploration Results

(Criteria listed in the preceding section also apply to this section.)

Criteria

JORC Code explanation

Commentary

Mineral tenement and land tenure status

·    Type, reference name/number, location and ownership including agreements or material issues with third parties such as joint ventures, partnerships, overriding royalties, native title interests, historical sites, wilderness or national park and environmental settings.

·    The security of the tenure held at the time of reporting along with any known impediments to obtaining a licence to operate in the area.

·    CleanTech Lithium holds in Laguna Verde 2,926 hectares of Exploitation Mining Concessions (Pertenencias) that cover the entire lagoon area under an Option Agreement.6,913 hectares as Exploitation mining concessions (Manifestaciones) and 11,400  hectares of Exploration Mining Concessions outside the lagoon area that are in different process stages.

·    All prohibition certificates in favour of Atacama Salt Lakes SpA were reviewed by the Competent Person. The Competent Person relies in the Mining Expert Surveyor Mr, Juan Bedmar.

·    All concession acquisition costs and taxes have been fully paid and that there are no claims or liens against them

·    There are no known impediments to obtain the licence to operate in the area
 

Exploration done by other parties

·    Acknowledgment and appraisal of exploration by other parties.

·    Exploration works has been done by Pan American Lithium and Wealth Minerals Ltda.

Geology

·    Deposit type, geological setting and style of mineralisation.

·    Laguna Verde is a hyper saline lagoon that is classified as an immature clastic salar. The deposit is composed of a Surface Brine Resource, formed by the brine water volume of the surface lagoon and the Sub-Surface Resource, formed by brine water hosted in volcano-clastic sediments that lies beneath the lagoon

Drill hole Information

·    A summary of all information material to the understanding of the exploration results including a tabulation of the following information for all Material drill holes:

o easting and northing of the drill hole collar

o elevation or RL (Reduced Level - elevation above sea level in metres) of the drill hole collar

o dip and azimuth of the hole

o down hole length and interception depth

o hole length.

·    If the exclusion of this information is justified on the basis that the information is not Material and this exclusion does not detract from the understanding of the report, the Competent Person should clearly explain why this is the case.

·    The following drillhole coordinates are in WGS84 zone 19 J Datum

·    LV01 E549,432 N7,027,088 ELEV 4,429 m a.s.l.
Azimuth 0°, dip -90°, Length 474 m

·    LV02 E553,992 N7,024,396 ELEV 4,358 m a.s.l.
Azimuth 0°, dip -90°, Length 339.4 m

·    LV03 E549,980 N7,028,434 ELEV 4,402 m a.s.l.
Azimuth 120°, dip -60°, Length 547.5 m

·    LV04 E556,826 N7,024,390 ELEV 4,350 m a.s.l.
Azimuth 0°, dip -90°, Length 311 m

·    LV05 E550,972 N7,027,908 ELEV 4,335 m a.s.l.
Azimuth 0°, dip -90°, Length 434.6 m

·    LV06 E555,912 N7,026,004 ELEV 4,335 m a.s.l.
Azimuth 0°, dip -90°, Length 405 m

Data aggregation methods

·    In reporting Exploration Results, weighting averaging techniques, maximum and/or minimum grade truncations (eg cutting of high grades) and cut-off grades are usually Material and should be stated.

·    Where aggregate intercepts incorporate short lengths of high grade results and longer lengths of low grade results, the procedure used for such aggregation should be stated and some typical examples of such aggregations should be shown in detail.

·    The assumptions used for any reporting of metal equivalent values should be clearly stated.

·    For the Surface Brine Resource no low-grade cut-off or high-grade capping has been implemented due to the consistent nature of the brine assay data

·    For the Sub Surface Resource no low grade cut-off or high grade capping has been implemented

Relationship between mineralisation widths and intercept lengths

·    These relationships are particularly important in the reporting of Exploration Results.

·    If the geometry of the mineralisation with respect to the drill hole angle is known, its nature should be reported.

·    If it is not known and only the down hole lengths are reported, there should be a clear statement to this effect (eg 'down hole length, true width not known').

·    The relationship between aquifer widths and intercept lengths are direct, except in LV03 were a dip of -60° should be applied

Diagrams

·    Appropriate maps and sections (with scales) and tabulations of intercepts should be included for any significant discovery being reported These should include, but not be limited to a plan view of drill hole collar locations and appropriate sectional views.

·    Addressed in the report

Balanced reporting

·    Where comprehensive reporting of all Exploration Results is not practicable, representative reporting of both low and high grades and/or widths should be practiced to avoid misleading reporting of Exploration Results.

·    All results have been included.



Other substantive exploration data



·    Other exploration data, if meaningful and material, should be reported including (but not limited to): geological observations; geophysical survey results; geochemical survey results; bulk samples - size and method of treatment; metallurgical test results; bulk density, groundwater, geotechnical and rock characteristics; potential deleterious or contaminating substances.



·    Pump tests were performed in wells LV05 and LV06.

·    A 50 hp submergible electric pump, piping with flowmeters were used for the pump tests. The tests consist in 6-hour variable pump test to verify the aquifer capabilities and a constant 48-hour pump test

·    In LV05 the pump was installed at 156 m and in LV06, at 150 m

·    Pump Tests supports the bore field flow rates of 30L/s   

Further work

·    The nature and scale of planned further work (eg tests for lateral extensions or depth extensions or large-scale step-out drilling).

·    Diagrams clearly highlighting the areas of possible extensions, including the main geological interpretations and future drilling areas, provided this information is not commercially sensitive.

 

·      On the 2023 - 2024 drilling season, drill two diamond drillholes in the resource area. The objectives of these drillholes are to improve the resource calculation, evaluate and improve the Inferred resources located in the deep depression in the middle of the lagoon, interpreted from the gravimetry survey.

 

·      Also, in the 2023 - 2024 drilling season, drill two diamond drillholes in the North East extension area. The objectives of these drillholes are to confirm the exploration hypothesis and upgrade the Inferred resources in that area to Measured + Indicated.

·      During the drilling of these holes, perform Lugueon type test in several levels to study the host permeability characteristics, especially through and between identified fracture and faults zones.

 

·      In the same drilling season include a reverse flooded drillhole in an area where the fresh water "contamination" is less probable. The objective of this drillhole is to perform pump tests and obtain good quality bulk samples for the future pilot plant

·      Also, add a drillhole specially designed to perform injection tests to study the reinjection characteristics of the tuffs and volcano sedimentary host.

·      Perform in all drilled holes a borehole geophysical campaign, including Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Conductivity, Temperature °C and Gamma Ray to study the host permeability / porosity characteristics, design future extraction wells characteristics and improve the resources confidence level.

·      Execute a gravimetry survey in the North East extension area to study the basement characteristics.  

 

·      Finally, build a new set of brine Standards from Laguna Verde lagoon or other known brine source and calculate their Standard Nominal Grades with a Round Robin process to be used in the related QA/QC process.

 

 



 

Section 3 Estimation and Reporting of Mineral Resources

(Criteria listed in section 1, and where relevant in section 2, also apply to this section.)

Criteria

JORC Code explanation

Commentary

Database integrity

·    Measures taken to ensure that data has not been corrupted by, for example, transcription or keying errors, between its initial collection and its use for Mineral Resource estimation purposes.

·    Data validation procedures used.

·    Cross-check of laboratory assay reports and Database

·    QA/QC as described in Section 4.7

·    All databases were built from original data by the Competent Person

Site visits

·    Comment on any site visits undertaken by the Competent Person and the outcome of those visits.

·    If no site visits have been undertaken indicate why this is the case.

·    A site visit was undertaken by the Competent

Person from June 2nd to June 4th, 2021. The outcome of the visit was a general geological review and the lagoon water brine geochemical sampling that led to the July 2021 JORC Technical Report

 

·    The January to May 2022 drilling campaign was continually supervised by the Competent Person, that led to the September 2022 updated JORC Technical Report

·    The October 2022 to May 2023 drilling campaign was constantly supervised by the Competent Person

Geological interpretation

·    Confidence in (or conversely, the uncertainty of ) the geological interpretation of the mineral deposit.

·    Nature of the data used and of any assumptions made.

·    The effect, if any, of alternative interpretations on Mineral Resource estimation.

·    The use of geology in guiding and controlling Mineral Resource estimation.

·    The factors affecting continuity both of grade and geology.

·    For the Surface Brine Resource, the interpretation is direct and there is no uncertainty.

·    For the Sub-Surface Resource, the geological interpretation was made based in the TEM study,  gravimetry (SRK, 2011) and the Laguna Verde gravimetry survey (Geodatos, January 2023). The lithological interpretation was confirmed by the January - May 2022 diamond drillhole campaign (LV01 to LV04) and December 2022 - May 2023 drillhole campaign (LV05 & LV06).

·    Low resistivities are associated with sediments saturated in brines, but also with very fine sediments or clays. The direct relationship of the low resistivity layer with the above hypersaline lagoon raise the confidence that the low resistivities are associated with brines.

·    Drillholes confirm the geological interpretations

Dimensions

·    The extent and variability of the Mineral Resource expressed as length (along strike or otherwise), plan width, and depth below surface to the upper and lower limits of the Mineral Resource.

·    For the Surface Brine Resource the lagoon dimensions are 14,682,408 m2 of area with depths ranging from 0 m to 7.18m with an average depth of 4.05 m

·    The Sub-Surface Brine Resource is a horizontal lens closely restricted to the lagoon perimeter with an area of approximately 55 km2 and depths for more than 400 m, from approximately 4,309 m a.s.l. to the basement level. 



Estimation and modelling techniques

 

 

·    The nature and appropriateness of the estimation technique(s) applied and key assumptions, including treatment of extreme grade values, domaining, interpolation parameters and maximum distance of extrapolation from data points. If a computer assisted estimation method was chosen include a description of computer software and parameters used.

·    The availability of check estimates, previous estimates and/or mine production records and whether the Mineral Resource estimate takes appropriate account of such data.

·    The assumptions made regarding recovery of by-products.

·    Estimation of deleterious elements or other non-grade variables of economic significance (eg sulphur for acid mine drainage characterisation).

·    In the case of block model interpolation, the block size in relation to the average sample spacing and the search employed.

·    Any assumptions behind modelling of selective mining units.

·    Any assumptions about correlation between variables.

·    Description of how the geological interpretation was used to control the resource estimates.

·    Discussion of basis for using or not using grade cutting or capping.

·    The process of validation, the checking process used, the comparison of model data to drill hole data, and use of reconciliation data if available.

 

 

·      For the Surface Brine resource, the surface lake brine water volume is directly obtained by the bathymetry study detailed on Section 4.2.

·      Lithium (mg/l) samples values are in general homogeneously distributed along the lagoon with a narrow value distribution. the lagoon is a free water
body where the ionic content is dynamic for every specific position, there is no point in estimate the lake lithium content via Kriging or other geostatistical method. The use of the total samples average value 245.794 mg/l was used for the Surface Brine Resource Estimation.

·      The Sub-Surface geological 3D model was built modifying the September 2022 3D model (JORC Ch. Feddersen, September 2022), discarding the resource volume in the LV04 area and adding an extension on the North East Exploration area according the TEM profile surveyed in that zone (Geodatos, January 2023).
Later, the constructed 3D model was clipped above by the surface formed by the following drillhole intercepts, that correspond to the brine aquifer ceiling:

LV01: 120 m, level 4,309 m.a.s.l.

LV02: 104.1 m, level 4,249.9 m.a.s.l.

LV03: 135 m, Level 4,309 m.a.s.l.

LV05: 57 m, level 4,278 m.a.s.l.

LV06: 63.2 m, level 4,271.8 m.a.s.l.

·      Finally, the above clipped 3D model was clipped by below with the interpreted resource basement surface, modelled using the LV01, LV02 and LV05 basement intercepts and the Laguna Verde gravimetry survey


·      Two block models were constructed for resource calculation due the different type of brine samples used for resource estimation, one above the 4,112 m a.s.l. and the other, below 4,112 ma.s.l.

·      The block model above level 4,112 m a.s.l. properties are:
Block size: 200 m x 200 m x 6 m.
Block Model Origin: 544,920.615 East, 7,026,284.04 North, Level 4,328 m a.s.l.
N° Columns: 94

N° Rows: 40
N° Levels: 36

Rotation: 20° Clockwise

·      The block model below level 4,112 m a.s.l. properties are:

Block size: 200 m x 200 m x 6 m.

Block Model Origin: 544,920.615 East, 7,026,284.04 North, Level 4,112 m a.s.l..

N° Columns: 94

N° Rows: 40

N° Levels: 80

Rotation: 20° Clockwise

·      On both block models the individual block variables are:

Rock Type: 0=No Ore, 1= Brine Ore

Density

Percent

Economic

Material

Li (Lithium)

Mg (Magnesium)

K (Potash)

B (Boron)

SO4

Ca (Calcium)

Category: 1=Measured, 2=Indicated and 3=Inferred

Porosity

Elevation

·      The traditional Inverse to the Square Distance method to estimate the block variables was used. To accomplish this, the samples from the Sub-Surface Assay Resource Database were manually assigned to their correspondent block levels on both block models. Once assigned, the block variable values were calculated by levels with the correspondent assigned samples and their horizontal distances from the individual block to estimate. All calculations were performed in EXCEL files.

·      The calculated block variables are:

 

·      Lithium (Li)

·      Magnesium (Mg)

·      Potash (K)

·      Boron (B)

·      Sulfate (SO4)

·      Calcium (Ca)

·      Porosity

·     

·      The Sub-Surface Assay Resource Database was constructed according the following considerations:

·      LV04 geochemical samples were not used as their results indicate that this drillhole is located completely outside the resource volume

·      Packer samples from LV03 in the PQ diameter portion (above 4,112 m a.s.l.) were not used due reported packer problems and drilling mud contamination during the samples extraction

 

·      PVC casing samples were used from level around 4,309 m a.s.l., were brine aquifer ceiling was intercepted on drillhole LV01 down to 4,112 m a.s.l.

 

·      In LV01, PVC Casing Bailer samples were preferred against Suction samples, as they present a better QA/QC performance and consistency with the correspondent Packer samples

 

·      LV02 Electric bailer samples were used from level 4,249.9 m a.s.l. to 4,070 m a.s.l.

 

·      LV05 Electric Bailer samples were used from level 4,278 m a.s.l. to 3,912 m a.s.l.

 

·      LV06 Electric Bailer samples were used from level 4,272 n a.s.l. to 3,960 m a.s.l.   

 

·      Below level 4,112 m a.s.l. to the basement level at 3,955 m a.s.l., Packer samples from LV01 and LV03 drillholes were used to calculate Indicated Resources

 

·      For the Effective Porosity estimation LV01, LV02, LV03 and LV04 data was used

·      The validation process was mainly visual check in plans along block model levels and, on the estimation EXCEL files

·      For both block models, the blocks inside the Sub-Surface Brine Ore Volume have variable Rock Type = 1 (Brine Ore). Only blocks with Rock Type = 1 were reported as resource 

 

Moisture

·    Whether the tonnages are estimated on a dry basis or with natural moisture, and the method of determination of the moisture content.

·    Not applicable for brine resources

Cut-off parameters

·    The basis of the adopted cut-off grade(s) or quality parameters applied.

·    No cut-off grade was applied

Mining factors or assumptions

·    Assumptions made regarding possible mining methods, minimum mining dimensions and internal (or, if applicable, external) mining dilution. It is always necessary as part of the process of determining reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction to consider potential mining methods, but the assumptions made regarding mining methods and parameters when estimating Mineral Resources may not always be rigorous. Where this is the case, this should be reported with an explanation of the basis of the mining assumptions made.

·    Mining will be undertaken by pumping brine from production wells and re-injection

·    Pump tests were performed in wells LV05 and LV06

·      A 50 hp submergible electric pump, piping with flowmeters were used for the pump tests. The tests consist in 6-hour variable pump test to verify the aquifer capabilities and a constant 48-hour pump test

 

·      In LV05 the pump was installed at 156 m and in LV06, at 150 m

 

·      Pump Tests results supports the bore field flow rates of 30L/s  

Metallurgical factors or assumptions

·    The basis for assumptions or predictions regarding metallurgical amenability. It is always necessary as part of the process of determining reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction to consider potential metallurgical methods, but the assumptions regarding metallurgical treatment processes and parameters made when reporting Mineral Resources may not always be rigorous. Where this is the case, this should be reported with an explanation of the basis of the metallurgical assumptions made.

·      The metallurgical capacity of lithium recovery in the process has been estimated at 85.2% to obtain lithium carbonate in battery grade.

·      The process of obtaining lithium carbonate considers the following stages:

The Lithium is obtained using selective adsorption of lithium-ion from Laguna Verde brine through the Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) process. This stage has 90.4% recovery of Lithium.

The spent solution (without Lithium) will be reinjected into the Laguna Verde salt flat.

The DLE process allows impurity removal waste to be minimal.

The diluted lithium solution recovered from the DLE process is concentrated utilizing water removal in reverse osmosis. The removed water is recovered and returned to the process to minimize the water consumption required. 

Ion exchange stages remove minor impurities such as magnesium, calcium, and boron to obtain a clean lithium solution.

Lithium carbonate is obtained with a saturated soda ash solution to precipitate it in the carbonation stage. Lithium recovery from this stage is 87.2%.

The lithium carbonate obtained is washed with ultra-pure water to get it in battery grade with the minimum of impurities.

From the carbonation process, a remaining solution (mother liquor) is obtained, which is treated to concentration utilizing evaporators to recirculate in the carbonation process and ensure the greatest possible recovery of Lithium. The removed water is recovered and reintegrated into the process.

The water recovery in the process is 74% which reduces the water consumption required.

·      The Direct Extraction process has been tested by Beyond Lthium LLC at its facilities in the city of Salta, Argentina. The stages of removal of impurities and carbonation have been tested, obtaining a representative sample. The sample was analyzed in Germany by the laboratory Dorfner Anzaplan showing 99.9% Li2CO3 and reduced contaminants.

·      The process has been modelled by Ad infinitum using the SysCAD simulation platform and the AQSOL thermodynamic property package. With the model, simulations of the process were made to obtain  the appropriate mass balances with which the process stages and the recovery of Lithium are described for obtaining 20,000 tons of Li2CO3 per year.

·      Metallurgical testing and process is described and detailed in the CleanTech Lithium Scoping Study-Laguna Verde Project (December 2022)

Environmen-tal factors or assumptions

·    Assumptions made regarding possible waste and process residue disposal options. It is always necessary as part of the process of determining reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction to consider the potential environmental impacts of the mining and processing operation. While at this stage the determination of potential environmental impacts, particularly for a greenfields project, may not always be well advanced, the status of early consideration of these potential environmental impacts should be reported. Where these aspects have not been considered this should be reported with an explanation of the environmental assumptions made.

·    The main environmental impacts expected is the main plant installations, estimated to be located at 8 km to the south west of the lagoon edge. In the near lagoon area, the impact is the surface disturbance associated with production wells and brine mixing ponds. These impacts are not expected to prevent project development

 

Bulk density

·    Whether assumed or determined. If assumed, the basis for the assumptions. If determined, the method used, whether wet or dry, the frequency of the measurements, the nature, size and representativeness of the samples.

·    The bulk density for bulk material must have been measured by methods that adequately account for void spaces (vugs, porosity, etc), moisture and differences between rock and alteration zones within the deposit.

·    Discuss assumptions for bulk density estimates used in the evaluation process of the different materials.

 

·    Undisturbed diamond drillhole core samples with 3 to 5-inch length in both PQ and HQ diameter were obtained every 10 m from all drillholes for porosity testing.  Samples were prepared and sent to Daniel B. Stephens & Associated, Inc. laboratory (DBS&A) in New Mexico, USA. Samples underwent Relative Brine Release Capacity laboratory tests, which predict the volume of solution that can be readily extracted from an unstressed geological sample.  This method by itself is insufficient for calculating an effective porosity (specific yield) value for resource estimation as the laboratory test is performed on an unstressed core sample and doesn´t account for the host lithology geotechnical condition. To attain a more realistic specific yield value, the rock quality designator ("RQD") logged during the drilling was used with a regression analysis. This provided specific yield values that are consistent with the basin lithology.

Classification

·    The basis for the classification of the Mineral Resources into varying confidence categories.

·    Whether appropriate account has been taken of all relevant factors (ie relative confidence in tonnage/grade estimations, reliability of input data, confidence in continuity of geology and metal values, quality, quantity and distribution of the data).

·    Whether the result appropriately reflects the Competent Person's view of the deposit.

·    For the Surface Brine Resource, the data is considered sufficient to assign a Measured Resource classification

·      For the Sub-Surface Resources classification, the considered criteria were based on the recommended sampling grid distances of the complementary guide to CH 20235 code to report resources and reserves in brine deposits from the Comision Calificadora en Competencias en Recursos y Reservas Mineras, Chile.

·      Besides that, the Sub-Surface Resources categorization is dependent of the brine samples availability and their quality in terms of confidence. Considering the above, the Sub-Surface resources categorization conditions are:

·      For the Above 4,112 m a.s.l. block model

Blocks estimated at 1,250 m around LV01, LV02, LV05 and LV06 PVC Casing Bailer samples were considered as MEASURED

 

Blocks estimated between 1,250 m to 3,000 m around LV01, LV02, LV05 and LV06 PVC Casing Bailer samples were considered as INDICATED

 

The rest of the blocks that don't match the above conditions were considered as INFERRED

 



·      For the Below 4,112 m a.s.l. block model.

Blocks estimated at 1,250 m around LV02, LV05 and LV06 PVC Casing Bailer samples were considered as MEASURED

 

Blocks estimated between 1,250 m to 3,000 m around LV02, LV05 and LV06 PVC Casing Bailer samples were considered as INDICATED

 

As the Packer samples have a wide sampling support (18 m) and no standards were inserted to check their accuracy, these samples will generate only Indicated and not Measured resources so, Blocks estimated at 3,000 m around LV01 and LV03 Packer samples were considered as INDICATED

 

The rest of the blocks that don't match the above conditions were considered as INFERRED

 

·    The result reflects the view of the Competent Person

Audits or reviews

·    The results of any audits or reviews of Mineral Resource estimates.

·      The July 2021 JORC technical report were reviewed by Michael Rosko, MS PG SME Registered Member #4064687 from MONTGOMERY & ASSOCIATES CONSULTORES LIMITADA

 

·      In the report he concludes that "The bulk of the information for the Laguna Verde exploration work and resulting initial lithium resource estimate was summarized Feddersen (2021). Overall, the CP agrees that industry-standard methods were used, and that the initial lithium resource estimate is reasonable based on the information available".

 

·      The September 2022 JORC Report LAGUNA VERDE UPDATED RESOURCE ESTIMATION REPORT, data acquisition and QA/QC protocols were audited on October, 2022 by Don Hains, P. Geo. from Hains Engineering Company Limited (D. Hains October 2022 QA/QC Procedures, Review, Site Visit Report).

·      In the report he concludes that "The overall QA/QC procedures employed by CleanTech are well documented and the exploration data collected and analysed in a comprehensive manner. There are no significant short comings in the overall programme.

·      Respect the exploration program his comments are "The overall exploration program has been well designed and well executed. Field work appears to have been well managed, with excellent data collection. The drill pads have been restored to a very high standard. The TEM geophysical work has been useful in defining the extensional limits of the salar at Laguna Verde".

·      Respect the Specific Yield his comments are "RBRC test work at Danial B. Stevens Associates has been well done. It is recommended obtaining specific yield data using a second method such as centrifuge, nitrogen permeation or NMR. The available RBRC data indicates an average Sy value of 5.6%. This is a significant decrease from the previously estimated value of approximately 11%. The implications of the lower RBRC value in terms of the overall resource estimate should be carefully evaluated".

·      Several recommendations were made by Mr. Hines in his report to improve the QA/QC protocols, data acquisition, assays, presentation and storage. His recommendations have been considered and included in the exploration work schedule since October 2022.

Discussion of relative accuracy/ confidence

·    Where appropriate a statement of the relative accuracy and confidence level in the Mineral Resource estimate using an approach or procedure deemed appropriate by the Competent Person. For example, the application of statistical or geostatistical procedures to quantify the relative accuracy of the resource within stated confidence limits, or, if such an approach is not deemed appropriate, a qualitative discussion of the factors that could affect the relative accuracy and confidence of the estimate.

·    The statement should specify whether it relates to global or local estimates, and, if local, state the relevant tonnages, which should be relevant to technical and economic evaluation. Documentation should include assumptions made and the procedures used.

·    These statements of relative accuracy and confidence of the estimate should be compared with production data, where available.

·    The estimated tonnage represents the in-situ brine with no recovery factor applied. It will not be possible to extract all of the contained brine by pumping from production wells. The amount which can be extracted depends on many factors including the permeability of the sediments, the drainable porosity, and the recharge dynamics of the aquifers.

·    No production data are available for comparison

 

 

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