Altamin release 2 Mt LCE maiden MRE at Lazio geothermal project in Italy

May. 29, 2024

Potash potential

Altamin last month released their maiden MRE for the Lazio Geothermal project, 20km north of Rome, Italy. A total of 2 Mt of LCE was defined grading 100 mg/L Li concentration (70 mg/L Li cut-off). Potential credits include 327 Mt of sulphate of potash equivalent and 140 – 350 MWe of recoverable electrical energy.

The MRE derives from analysis of 16 historic wells from ENEL, the Italian state power company, who explored the Cesano area for geothermal energy potential in the 1970s. The modelled reservoir is a limestone unit, 1,300–3,100m deep, which is sporadically pierced by volcanic pipes.

The indicated resource (where long-term flow data exists) holds 10% of the LCE resource (208 kt LCE) which graded 190 mg/L Li, 84,000 mg/L K and total dissolved solids up to 400 g/L.Altamin release 2 Mt LCE maiden MRE at Lazio geothermal project in Italy

Adamas take:

Lazio is a highly prospective geothermal direct lithium extraction project in the EU, however, given the 1.8 Mt LCE inferred resource is largely uneconomic, there is a decent chance the project could be resource constrained unless more volcanic pipes are proven, which will be expensive.

The mineralized zones of interest (co-incident with geothermal potential) lie within and radially adjacent to the volcanic pipes, implying lateral heterogeneity across the resource. This setting constrains the high grade, salinity, and temperatures (all favorable for DLE) to a modest 3 x 2 km area where two pipes are known to exist from drilling.

Almost half of this area is held within Vulcan Energy’s Cesano tenement. The carbonate reservoir is quite thick, however, modelled at roughly 1,400m thick (from 1,200m depth).

By our estimates, a modest 10 ktpa LCE plant operating for 15-20 years would require at least a 600 kt M&I resource, averaging over 150 mg/L Li. Due to their tight landholding, Vulcan Energy may not be able to reach this scale at Cesano themselves, however Altamin could if they discover 2-3 more volcanic pipes from their nine prospective sites.

The company has resistivity and gravity surveys planned for drill targeting, though drilling will be expensive here. More sensibly, Vulcan and Altamin could merge the landholdings, though this may be tricky since the Italian energy companies ENEL and IREN have already partnered on the respective projects’ development.

[Extract from the May issue of the EV Battery Lithium Monthly service.]

 


 

Chris Williams, Analyst at Adamas Intelligence

Chris is an Analyst at Adamas Intelligence focused on the global lithium industry. He researches and analyzes the lithium value chain to uncover actionable opportunities for clients.

Chris has 11-years experience in mining and oil & gas operations optimization, delivering value from data intensive insight generation. He completed his Bachelor and Masters of Engineering at the University of Queensland, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and is currently completing a Masters of Business Administration at the University of British Columbia.

 


 

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