As lithium development moves ahead in southern Arkansas, site of the Smackover Formation, it is also progressing in New Mexico.
That’s where Canadian Company, Lancaster Resources Inc. has submitted applications to the State of New Mexico Energy, Mines, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to drill up to three wells targeting both shallow and deep conductive layers on its Alkali Flat Lithium Brine Project near Lordsburg, New Mexico.
The targets were identified by Lancaster’s geological team following the success of Lancaster’s recent MT (Magneto-Telluric) Geophysics program, which highlighted multiple highly conductive subsurface aquifers and zones of interest.
The application to the EMNRD includes the maiden drilling program and a parallel, but separate, application to the BLM covers both drilling access and a subsequent MT geophysics program over the entire claim.
“The identified targets show clear opportunities for large aquifers containing concentrated lithium brine,” says Andrew Watson, Lancaster Resources’ VP, Operations and Engineering.
“We are expecting our first drill hole to allow us to collect brine samples, along with rock cuttings or core, from targeted intervals, allowing us to determine the concentration of lithium and other minerals.”
During the drilling program, rock cuttings, core, and brine samples will be collected from selected intervals, with assay results expected to be available shortly after drilling completion. Previous drilling applications on the playa, although not culminated in drilling, have set a procedural precedent that should aid in regulatory approval.
The MT program targeted highly conductive stratigraphic units (layers) to further delineate drill targets in a highly prospective area on the NE part of the 5,200 acre (2,100 Ha) property.
The MT results along with Lancaster’s recent exploratory and geochemical results have highlighted multiple high-priority drill locations believed to host lithium-rich aquifers. Results indicate a near-surface low resistivity highly conductive layer ~150m (490 ft) deep along with a deeper low resistivity highly conductive layer at ~760m (~2500 ft) subsurface. Results also confirm the N-S trending basin continues from adjacent claims to the north, through Lancaster’s property.
The planned drilling and exploration program is being designed with a focus on minimizing environmental impact. Measures have been put in place to mitigate effects on the playa environment, water courses, and any historical and cultural artifacts. In particular, precautions have been established to protect freshwater sources that might be encountered during drilling.
Source: press release