Exploration Of The La Torta Geothermal Prospect, Northern Chile

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Conference Paper: Exploration Of The La Torta Geothermal Prospect, Northern Chile

Geochemical and geophysical surveys completed in 2002 at the La Torta geothermal prospect by Geottrmica del Norte (GDN) have identified drilling targets for a high temperature resource extending 5 to 10 km southeast of the El Tatio geothermal field. Temperature and geochemistry data from El Tatio indicated that, although several of the 13 bore holes drilled between 1968 and 1974 to depths of up to 1800 m were completed in a shallow ~225°Co utflow, several encountered a higher temperature outflow from a >260°C geothermal resource. Because the prospective areas near El Tatio extended over more than 150 km2 with limited access at elevations of 4300 to 5300 m, few geothermal exploration results were reported for the adjacent La Torta area. Based on regional geology and the extrapolation of trends detected in a 1996 El Tatio MT-TDEM survey, a previously unreported hot spring and gas seep were discovered in I998 north of the La Torta dacite dome, about 10 km southeast of the El Tatio wells. Following GDN's acquisition of the La Torta geothermal concession in 2002, geochemistry and geophysics studies including a 52 station MT-TDEM survey, were completed. A low resistivity hydrothermal smectite clay zone was found to extend more than 15 km southeast of El Tatio, continuing beneath the La Torta dome and covering more than 50 km2. Cross-sections showed an apex in the base of this clay "cap" on the La Torta Concession, about 2 km north of the La Torta dome. Similar features have been correlated with permeable shallow, high temperature zones in many geothermal fields. GDN has begun preparations to drill a deep well targeting this area in late 2002 in order to prove a commercial resource.

William B. Cumming, Hugo Vieytes, Carlos F. Ramirez and David Sussman

GRC, 2002

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William B. Cumming,Hugo Vieytes,Carlos F. Ramirez,David Sussman. 2002. Exploration Of The La Torta Geothermal Prospect, Northern Chile. In: (!) ; (!) ; (!) . (!) : GRC; p. (!)