With the rising movement towards a sustainable and electric-powered world, lithium has the potential to become one of the world’s most valuable resources, powering these electric vehicles.
At the forefront of this rapid growth is Argentina, which accounts for 20 percent of the world’s reserves and has the world’s largest lithium project pipeline. The famous Triángulo del Litio — the Lithium Triangle — is an under-explored area that is becoming a major host for investor-friendly projects prepared to embrace the potential of a lithium-powered future.
Alpha Lithium (NEO: ALLI,OTC:APHLF,FRB:765) is one of many pursuing lithium in this region, given its potential to be among the last greenfield project opportunities in this section of the world. Alpha Lithium is a development company focused on highly prospective lithium production of its Tolillar Salar project in Salta province, Argentina.
The company leverages its 100-percent ownership of Tolillar Salar and is aiming to repeat the successes of its highly established lithium-producing neighbors.
Alpha Lithium’s flagship Tolillar Solar project is located in Northwest Argentina near the heart of the Lithium Triangle. Its highly accessible infrastructure connects the project site to Salta and San Antonio de Los Cobres through paved road networks, natural gas resources and a skilled local workforce.
Alpha Lithium completed its drilling program at its Salar Tolillar project and announced a maiden resource estimate which includes 2.1 million tonnes of indicated, and 1.2 million tonnes of inferred lithium carbonate equivalent. The resource estimate also includes 7.4 million tonnes of potassium equivalent (KCl) in the indicated category and a further 4.8 million tonnes of KCI in the inferred category. The company recently released an updated PEA indicating US$1.7 billion (C$2.3 billion) after tax NPV8 with an IRR of 25.6 percent; US$8.2 billion (C$11.0 billion) of cumulative free cash flow over a 35-year mine life; and 3.7-year after-tax payback period from the start of production.
Following a series of acquisitions, Alpha Lithium now has 100 percent controlling interest over 5,072 hectares of land in the renowned Salar del Hombre Muerto, Argentina, making the company the second largest landholder (next to Posco) on the Salta side of the famous salar. The company has also concluded a vertical electrical sounding (VES) survey on the property in Hombre Muerto and is planning to acquire an additional 45 VES points.
Alpha Lithium received the licenses to commence exploration operations at Hombre Muerto in January 2023. The company intends to drill up to 12 wellbores on the Hombre Muerto property, in addition to implementing several new VES campaigns.
The management team at Alpha Lithium comprises industry professionals and experienced stakeholders with years of expertise in mining, exploration and capital markets. This well-connected team uses a proven de-risk approach, priming the company for significant growth in the global lithium market.
Alpha Lithium is an emerging lithium development company focused on exploring its highly prospective, under-developed lithium assets in Salta province, Argentina.Alpha Lithium’s 100-percent owned, flagship Tolillar Salar project is located near the heart of the Lithium Triangle, surrounded by multi-billion dollar lithium producers with decades of active lithium production.The project site is strategically positioned near electricity lines, paved road networks, natural gas resources and a skilled local workforce.Well-funded with over $35 million in cash to continue working towards its lithium carbonate production ambitions in Argentina and 750,000 shares traded daily in Canada, USA and Germany.
The Tolillar Salar Project
The Tolillar Salar property covers 27,500 hectares and consists of 10 exploration concessions registered in the Salar de Tolillar basin in Argentina’s Salta province. With limited exploration history, and a strategic location nearby several lithium-producing heavyweights, the Tolillar Salar project puts Alpha Lithium in a unique first-mover position for significant mining success.
The Tolillar Salar occupies an internally drained basin with much of the property’s rock formation dating back to the Ordovician period. This geological makeup has created a sediment profile that includes younger continental sediments, salt crusts and evaporite deposits.
Alpha Lithium announced a maiden resource estimate which includes 2.1 million tonnes of indicated, and 1.2 million tonnes of inferred lithium carbonate equivalent and 7.4 million tonnes of potassium equivalent (KCl) in the indicated category, and a further 4.8 million tonnes of KCI in the inferred category.
Alpha Lithium is the exclusive owner of Tolillar Salar with acquired claims of 27,500 hectares.The company has explored only 9,000 hectares (32 percent) of the salar, and completed drilling of 15 exploration wells, including two freshwater wells.Started construction of the pilot plant and negotiated a US$385 million investment for 50 percent of the Tolillar Salar.
Alpha Lithium is located less than 10 miles away from Livent Corporation (NYSE:LTHM), which has a market cap of over US$3 billion and more than 20 years of production from the nearby property.
Immediately adjacent to Livent is Posco (NYSE:PKX), with a staggering market cap of around US$20 billion. Posco has been very busy in the area, expanding on the lithium project they bought from Alkem (ASX:AKE) for US$280 million in 2018.
The Tolillar project area has never been extensively explored, yet is located in prime territory, directly near a concentration of major lithium producers, providing a significant portion of the international lithium supply.
With a project located in the coveted Lithium Triangle in South America, Alpha Lithium could be sitting on a potentially massive lithium discovery.
The construction of Alpha Lithium’s 120-tonne-per-annum (tpa) pilot plant, which began in December 2022, is nearing completion, after which it is expected to commence test production of high-quality lithium carbonate (Li2CO3). The pilot plant is also anticipated to utilize brine from both the 27,500-hectare Tolillar Salar and the 5,000-hectare asset in nearby Salar del Hombre Muerto.
The pilot plant aims to demonstrate that Alpha’s promising laboratory DLE results can be repeated and maintained under industrial pilot conditions. It will also provide the company with important data upon which to base the technical and economic assumptions for use in economic analyses.
Alpha Lithium designed the pilot plant with complete flexibility to allow operators to refine the design of the company’s planned 50,000-tpa lithium carbonate plant.
Salar Hombre Muerto Project
Alpha Lithium owns a 100-percent interest in 5,072 hectares in the Salar del Hombre Muerto. The company is now the second largest landholder (second only to Posco) on the Salta side of the famous salar.
The Salar Hombre Muerto project is bordered by Posco Holdings and Livent Corp. and is 10 kilometers away from freshwater sources within the Salta province. The area is known for world-class lithium brine quality, purity, production, cost and regime, and is a worldwide “central hub” of lithium brine mining.
Alpha Lithium completed a VES evaluation indicating the presence of three large units. The upper unit extends to 44 meters deep, with very low resistivity values (0.3 to 2.3 Ohm-m) and is described as sand, silt, clay and evaporite facies, saturated with productive brines. The middle unit is interpreted as fractured and massive halite facies, with intercalations of sandy facies, and saturated with brines. The lower unit is characterized by moderate resistivity values (17 to 41 Ohm-m) described as sedimentary facies of the Neogene Catal Formation.
Alpha Lithium plans to double the size of Alpha’s property with 5,700 additional hectares, which are already pre-awarded and contracts are being finalized. It is also planning additional VES surveys to determine the depth and areal extent of the brine body. Alpha has started drilling exploratory wells while working to complete a resource estimate and economic assessment of the project.
In early, 2023, Alpha Lithium received the licenses to commence exploration operations at Hombre Muerto. The company intends to drill up to 12 wellbores on the Hombre Muerto property over the next 12 months, in addition to implementing several new VES campaigns.
Alpha Lithium owns 5,000 hectares and completed 56 VES points and a total of 28.5 km of VES lines.An additional 5,700 hectares are in the process of being acquired.The company received REMSA approval for an expanded personnel camp and has applied for several drilling licenses.
Brad Nichol – President, CEO and Director
Brad Nichol is an international entrepreneur who has served and advised corporations on strategy and finance for more than 25 years. Throughout his career, Nichol has served as senior executive and director of several public and private enterprises across the finance and resource sectors. He has led successive organizations through multiple rounds of private and public project financing, initiated and executed dual listings and established key international and domestic financial relations. Nichol also has significant experience in various business functions including financial, operational, human resources, investor relations and legal and regulatory processes.
Previously, Nichol worked at Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil and gas services firm, in various technical, managerial, marketing and sales roles in North America, South America and Europe. He left Schlumberger to pursue his MBA at the London Business School in the UK. He graduated with honors in 2003. Nichol also holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta and has been a registered professional engineer since 1994.
David Guerrero – Country Manager
David Guerrero brings almost 20 years of international experience in the mining industry, 10 of which are specifically related to lithium as a specialty product. He has held various roles with mining major Rio Tinto as well as senior management positions with Canadian company, Lithium One, and with Australia-based Galaxy Resources. In this capacity, Guerrero undertook a critical functional role in a recent US$280 million M&A transaction with giant South Korean steelmaker POSCO for mineral resources at the Salar del Hombre Muerto. He was also the former president of the Salta Mining Providers Chamber and the AUSCHAM Argentina chapter’s vice-president. Guerrero brings indispensable local knowledge and communal leadership to Northern Argentenian projects.
Nathan Steinke – CFO
Nathan Steinke is a highly respected financial professional with more than 15 years of experience at public and private companies in the international resource sector. Since 2003, Steinke’s responsibilities have included all of the companies’ financial aspects, including debt and equity financing, corporate structure design and management, cash flow management and forecasting, legal and regulatory compliance, stakeholder engagement and reporting, dual listing execution and management and risk management.
Darryl Jones – Executive Director
With more than 15 years of capital market experience and an established financial network, Darryl Jones was an investment advisor with PI Financial Corp. Canada and Raymond James Ltd Canada. He was responsible for raising significant risk capital for growth companies in all sectors, with a particular focus on natural resources. Jones has held senior management and director positions in several resource extraction companies and is currently the CEO of Alpha Copper.
Foster Wilson – Director
Foster Wilson has more than 30 years of experience in exploration and development, including reserve drilling and estimation, feasibility studies, mine permitting and development. He has worked in various capacities for Placer Dome, Echo Bay, American Bonanza Gold and other junior exploration companies. Wilson currently serves as president of Mesa Exploration.
Sean Charland – Director and Corporate Secretary
Sean Charland is a seasoned communications professional with experience in raising capital and marketing in resource exploration companies. His network of contacts within the financial community extends across North America and Europe. Charland also serves as a director of Maple Gold Mines, Arctic Star Exploration, Eyecarrot Innovations and Voltaic Minerals.
Andrew Hallett – Director
Andrew Hallett is a commodity transaction specialist with over 10 years of cross-commodity investment experience in investment banking, trading, and asset management. Hallett is currently a partner at Rice Capital and an investment advisor specializing in alternative investments, focusing on upstream metals and mining investments in critical raw materials. Hallett received a bachelor of arts in economics from the Augustana Faculty of the University of Alberta and a master of science in finance from the London School of Economics. He was previously a director within the commodities investments group at BTG Pactual Commodities, responsible for all principal investments and structured finance transactions in metals, mining and energy. His prior experience includes commodity investment roles within global markets at Deutsche Bank as a senior structured originator and as a director at Natsource Asset Management.
Chris Cooper – Director
Chris Cooper has over 20 years of management and finance experience in the oil and gas, mining and technology industries. Cooper received his B.A. from Hofstra University and his M.B.A. from Dowling College, both in New York State. He has been involved in the creation and funding of several oil and gas issuers, including Choice Resources Corp., an intermediate oil and gas producer, before it was taken over in August 2007 by Buffalo Resources Corp. Cooper also sits on the board of other junior public companies, including Counterpath Corporation, Westridge Resources Inc, Bullion Gold Resources Corp. and Planet Mining Exploration Inc. He has sat on the audit committee of many public companies in several different industry sectors and has a broad, comprehensive knowledge of financial reports.
Pedro Mauricio Torres – Technical Advisor
Pedro Mauricio Torres is a metallurgical engineer with 17 years of experience in the operation, process and projects of chemical plants. He has 10 years of experience in SQM Salar, where he participated in developing the new lithium hydroxide plant, and expansion of the lithium carbonate plant to 70,000 tonnes per year. In recent years, Torres has also worked as a process advisor for Galaxy Lithium, Tianqi Lithium and Eramet Chilean Lithium Salars.
Adrian Sergio Arias – Technical Advisor
Adrian Sergio Arias has more than 22 years of experience in the operation of various chemical plants. Arias has dedicated the last seven years to developing technologies and process improvements for the processing of lithium brines. He has also worked with Lithium Americas to develop the Cauchari Lithium project. He recently took on the position of process manager of Galaxy Lithium in the Sal de Vida project, located in the Salar del Hombre Muerto.