To view Figure 3, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/orl0610fig3.pdf.
Trenching Pump Test
Two trenches were constructed in the north west of the salar, in the area established by auger drilling to host Li values of greater than 800 mg/l. These were constructed with dimensions of 50 m by 3 m, and 1.5 m deep. The objective of this test program was to evaluate whether trenches could be used to extract brine from the shallow aquifer and to solar pre-concentrate the brine prior to extraction. Samples of brine taken following trench construction showed Li values exceeding 1700 mg/l. An evaluation of the economics of trench versus pump well construction will be evaluated as part of the scoping study.
Data Collection and QA/QC
Measurements of water levels and brine physical parameters (pH, density, Eh, TDS, temperature) were made systematically throughout the pump tests, with 272 primary samples collected for analysis. Brine samples were sent to the Orocobre Olaroz project laboratory for chemical analysis, including Li, K, B, Mg SO4 and Cl.
Additional brine samples were sent for chemical analysis to the Alex Stuart Assayers Mendoza, Argentina laboratory, which has been used by the company since 2010. This laboratory has extensive experience analyzing brines from salar projects. They are ISO 9001:2000 accredited and operate their own internal standards consistent with ISO 17025.
Four different laboratory prepared standards were used as part of the Quality Assurance-Quality Control program, comprising 36 standard samples. In addition 42 blank samples were submitted with primary samples during the program. A total of 24 duplicate pairs were analysed as part of the pump testing program.
Analytical values generally fell within +/-10% of the standard values for samples. Overall duplicate samples showed a reasonable level of sample repeatability (precision).
During pump testing the brine extracted from wells was pumped through PVC pipes a distance greater than 300 metres from the pump well. The brine was then released onto the salar surface and allowed to evaporate, to minimize the possibility of infiltration and recharge of the pump and monitoring wells.
Orocobre's Managing Director, Richard Seville, stated: "The completion of the long-term pump tests is an important milestone for the Salinas Grandes project. The work completed at Salinas Grandes to date confirms the potential that brine can be extracted from the shallow resources at potentially commercial rates and with stable grades that could allow for modest annual production of potassium and lithium to augment our flagship Olaroz project, now under construction.
"The Salinas Grandes shallow brine body has attractive grades and excellent chemistry, with a low magnesium to lithium ratio, high potassium to lithium ratio and low sulphate levels, which should result in high recoveries and low operating costs. To better understand the potential for Salinas Grandes the company has initiated an internal study which will set determine the strategy for advancing the project further."
About Orocobre Limited
Orocobre Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange (ASX: ORE)(TSX: ORL) and is the leading lithium-potash developer in the lithium and potassium rich Puna region of Argentina. For further information, please visit www.orocobre.com.
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