Standard has already completed two phases of geophysical exploration studies; the first, a basin-wide gravity survey, was used to find the depth to bedrock, and the thickness of the basin sediments that host the lithium brines; the second was a CSAMT/MT survey that was used to look for highly conductive sub-surface regions that represent brine resources. Both phases of geophysical exploration have been highly encouraging; the gravity survey showed that the depth to bedrock was much greater than previously understood, and that a maximum depth of over 1,200 m (approximately 4,000 ft) was present beneath Standard’s claim area. What this also means is that the basin sediments that host the lithium brines are much thicker than previously believed, so the potential resource and number of drilling targets expanded based on this phase of work. The CSAMT survey showed that extremely conductive zones were present beneath the Standard project area; in fact, the resistivities were some of the lowest ever measured by
Standard’s geophysical contractors, who have huge experience from working in many of the lithium brine salars in North and South America. These highly conductive zones represent concentrated brine saturated regions, and also represent excellent drill targets. Standard has conducted significant surface exploration in areas previously disturbed by brine harvesting activities and has demonstrated that lithium rich brines (typically 130-140 mg/L lithium) are present at depths of between 5-20 ft (1.5 to 6 m) below the playa surface. During Q4 2017 and into Q1 2018, Standard’s team of hydrogeologists and geologists will be supervising a reverse circulation (RC) drilling program across Standard’s project area. This program will be used to gather lithium brine and soil samples throughout a 3D block, as well as gathering data that can be used to determine the volume of effective pore spaces in the basin deposits, in addition to key hydrogeological parameters.
The data gathered from the drilling program will be used to develop the maiden Inferred Resource Estimate for the project, produced in accordance with 43-101 guidelines; this is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2018.