In 2014 a Company geologist, following a hunch, dug a hole in the salty crust of a section of the Lake Wells lake system and collected samples of brine. In mid-2014, those assays came back with significantly elevated potassium and sulphate levels. These assay results were not a complete surprise, however.
In 2013, Geoscience Australia had released the findings of a research program where they had assessed and ranked all of Australia's salt-lake systems for the potential to host a range of elements, including lithium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and other minor industrial minerals. This research leads to the initial interest in looking at the Lake Wells area for minerals other than gold and base metals.
In September 2014, the Company started shallow air core drilling into the lake. The drilling confirmed the potassium (K) content of the brine. Along with potassium, the second key element of interest is sulphur (S) in the form of sulphate (SO4), and again the concentrations of SO4 met or exceeded guidance for a potential economic deposit: as the brine could make SOP.
As with other well-known palaeovalley systems in the Eastern Goldfields, the target was a deep palaeochannel with a coarse basal sand aquifer. Geophysical test work involving passive seismic techniques was successfully employed in identifying an extensive palaeovalley system.
Further drilling and definition have resulted in the current Lake Wells SOP Project.
Australian Potash Limited:
Suite 31, 22 Railway Road
Subiaco Western Australia 6008
PO Box 180
Subiaco Western Australia 6904
Tel: +61 8 9322 1003
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