The Sal de Vida project now encompasses more than 40% of the Salar del Hombre Muerto. The Salar del Hombre Muerto is one of a limited number of known salars in the world which have brines suitable in composition and extent for commercial lithium production. The western portion of the salar is the site of Argentina’s only commercial scale lithium mining operation, Fénix, which is operated by FMC subsidiary Minera del Altiplano.
Fénix was permitted and put into production in the late 1990’s, and in 2008 produced nearly 14% of the total world production of lithium metal. Attributes of the brines in the Hombre Muerto salar include high lithium content, high potash content, low magnesium to lithium ratio, and brine production to greater depths than many other salars [Sources: Economics of Lithium 11th Edition, Roskill Information Services (2009); FMC Website].
The Company’s President and CEO, Patrick Highsmith, commented on the acquisition, "We have assembled a strong land package at the Sal de Vida Project, now spanning more than 25,000 hectares. Having established in our due diligence sampling the presence of high lithium and potash in the surface brine over much of that area, we are proceeding with a systematic evaluation of the extent, concentration, and value of the brine. We are also hosting a number of experts on the project in late September to assist with various aspects of the program."
Lithium One has initiated an exploration program on the Sal de Vida project, with the intent to advance the project to a feasibility decision by the end of 2010.
The Company is acquiring the properties from a private individual (the "Vendor") through a Purchase Agreement. Lithium One will acquire 100% ownership of the property with no retained royalty by issuing the Vendor 100,000 common shares of the Company, which may be subject to a hold period in accordance with rules of the TSX Venture Exchange.
Closure of this agreement is subject to approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.
Review by Qualified Person
The technical portions of this news release have been reviewed and approved by Mr. A. James McCann, the Company’s consulting exploration manager. Mr. McCann is a licensed Professional Geologist in Quebec and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
Lithium is a Group 1 (IA) element containing just a single valence electron (1s22s1). Group 1 elements are called "alkali metals". Lithium is a solid only about half as dense as water. A freshly cut chunk of lithium is silvery, but tarnishes in a minute or so in air to give a grey surface.
Lithium is mixed (alloyed) with aluminium and magnesium for light-weight alloys, and is also used in batteries, some greases, some glasses, and in medicine.
Lithium was first discovered and defined by by J.A. Arfvedson in 1817 when he did an analysis of a mineral he had found. This mineral, petalite (LiAl(Si2O5)2), was first found by Brazilian scientist José Bonifácio in 1800. Arfvedson was never able to fully isolate lithium, and it wasn’t until 1855 that it was isolated, by W.T. Brande. Lithium was first produced commercially in 1923, by Metallgesellschaft AG.
Lithium has a number of different uses in different sectors of society. The most common use is in lithium batteries. These are lightweight and are not as toxic as lead and cadmium batteries. These batteries have applications as small as watch batteries and as large as military and space vehicles.
Demand for lithium is increasing from the current market of ~ 100,000 tonnes LiCO2 equivalent. Lithium ion batteries have become the rechargeable battery of choice and are now almost used exclusively in cell phone and computer batteries with items such as shavers, power tools, and hybrid and electric cars switching over from the nickel varieties. The benefits of lithium ion batteries include; higher energy density to weight ratio, longer life, and no memory effect.
Automotive companies have recently been announcing that lithium ion batteries will be in their hybrid cars in 2009 and 2010. Toyota is targeting 1 million hybrid cars for 2010. Hybrid car numbers continue to increase as a result of increasing fuel prices and emission issues with conventional vehicles. For every one unit of lithium in a cell phone battery there are 7 in a computer battery, 3,000 in a hybrid car and 7,000 in an electric car; this is 9 to 30 kilograms of Li2O per battery.
• lithium stearate is mixed with oils to make all-purpose and high-temperature lubricants.
• lithium hydroxide is used to absorb carbon dioxide in space vehicles.
• lithium is alloyed with aluminium, copper, manganese, and cadmium to make high perfomance alloys for aircraft .
• Bahnmetall consists of lead containing 0.04% lithium, 0.7% calcium and 0.6% sodium is harder than pure lead and was used for railroad car bearings in Germany.
• compounds such as LiAlH4 and organolithium reagents (LiMe, LiPh, etc.) are very important as reagents in organic chemistry.
• lithium metal has the highest specific heat of any solid element and so heat transfer applications.
• various nuclear applications.
• lithium is sometimes used as battery anode material (high electrochemical potential) and lithium compounds are used in dry cells and storage batteries.
• lithium is used in the manufacture of special high strength glasses and ceramics
• sometimes, lithium-based compounds such as lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) are used as drugs to treat manic-depressive disorders.
About Lithium One:
Lithium One Inc. is a Canada-based resource company whose focus is to explore and develop mineral deposits throughout North America. They are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol CNY. Lithium One was created in 1906 as it was active in the Cobalt silver camp of Ontario. Their current assets include a 40% equity ownership with St. Andrews Goldfields Limited, in a joint venture to explore certain mineral claims in Garrison, Michaud and Guibord townships in Ontario. They also own a 100% interest in the former producing (but currently inactive) Nudulama (Missanabie Mine) property in the Wawa region of Ontario.
On November 5, 2007, Lithium One announced the signing of a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with Societe De Developpement de La Baie James and others to explore and develop mining claims located near Mattagami, Quebec.
The property is outlined by Mining Exploration Licence No. 1 which was granted to Societe de Developpement de la Baie James (“SDBJ”) in 1973. The licence covers an area of roughly 19 square kilometres. This area is rectangular in shape and spans eastwest through the western portion of Township 2312 and extends onto the eastern extremity of Township No. 2311. The lithium prospect is situated in the southwestern portion of the property. It was first staked in 1966 by Mr J. Cyr and was optioned by SDBJ in 1974 and after conducting some exploration on the property, returned it to Mr. Cyr. Prior to this, Mr. Cyr first discovered spodumene pegmatite outcrops on the property in 1964.
There has been little modern exploration conducted on the property, but significant trenching and drilling was completed in the late 1970’s. In 1989, G.J. Boisvert, P. Eng., wrote a summary of the Mineral Potential of the Cyr Lithium Prospect and stated, “Past mapping has outlined 45,000 square metres of outcrop exposure and the systematic sampling of 75% of the pegmatite outcrops has indicated an average grade of 1.7% Li20. This would imply outcrop defined lithium reserves at 121,500 tonnes per vertical metre, grading at 1.7% Li20. Based on these figures, a hypothetical deposit with a depth of only 100 metres would contain in excess of 12 million tonnes of lithium ore.”
All resource estimates quoted are based on data and reports obtained and prepared by previous operators. The properties will require considerable further evaluation which the Company’s management and consultants intend to carry out in due course. This data would suggest that the property has the potential to contain 10-30 million tonnes of lithium ore at a grade of 1.5% Li20 to 1.9% Li20.