About

Olaroz

Jujuy Province, Argentina

Product
Lithium carbonate
Status
Production & expansion
Ownership
66.65%

Highlights

Battery and Technical

Product Quality

12.6ktpa

FY21 Production

42.5ktpa

Long term annual target

+40 years

Project life

6.4 Mt LCE

Resource

~500

Workforce with over ~74% local or provincial

Allkem’s flagship brine-based lithium facility is based in Northern Argentina and supplies high-quality lithium chemicals across the globe. Expansion of this facility is positioning Olaroz as one of the world’s largest lithium evaporation pond systems.

Overview

The Olaroz Lithium Facility sits 3,900 metres above sea level in the Jujuy Province of Northern Argentina, where it has been producing high-grade lithium carbonate since 2014.

The Olaroz Lithium Facility sits 3,900 metres above sea level in the Jujuy Province of Northern Argentina, where it has been producing high-grade lithium carbonate since 2014.

The Salar de Olaroz hosts a high-quality, long-life resource. The Measured and Indicated Resource of 6.4 Mt LCE is capable of sustaining current production for over 40 years with only ~15% of the defined resource extracted.

After seven years of planning, developing, construction and commissioning, the first sale of lithium carbonate occurred in late April 2015.

Operations and processing techniques are sustainable and utilise industry leading innovation and technology to extract lithium brine from beneath the surface at competitive costs.

High lithium recoveries, utilisation of solar energy, zero liquid discharge, minimal waste and no impact on fresh water supports a very low environmental footprint.

The facility is supported by favourable operating conditions and local infrastructure with very limited rainfall combined with dry, windy conditions which enhances the brine-evaporation process.

Olaroz is also supported by a gas pipeline, high voltage electricity and paved highways, with three major seaports - Buenos Aires in Argentina and Antofagasta and Iquique in Chile - easily accessible by road and/or rail.

The facility is managed by Sales de Jujuy S.A. (SDJ) which is a joint venture built in partnership with Japanese trading giant Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) and JEMSE (a mining investment company owned by the provincial government of Jujuy, Argentina).

TTC is the exclusive sales agent for lithium carbonate products produced under a joint marketing committee arrangement.

Primary technical grade lithium carbonate and both micronised and non-micronised battery grade lithium carbonate are produced at the facility and sold to a diverse customer base of approximately 100 customers in Asia, Europe and North America.

The main markets for technical grade product are ceramics and glass sectors, and lithium hydroxide chemical production predominantly used in battery cathode manufacturing.

Battery grade lithium carbonate is typically sold directly to cathode and electrolyte manufacturers for the production of lithium-ion batteries used in EVs.

During FY21 approximately 86% of the lithium carbonate sold contributed to the battery supply chain for EVs.

Stage 2 and 3 Expansion

The Olaroz Lithium Facility was originally designed to allow for future developments and/or expansion plans to occur in line with market demand.

A Stage 2 expansion is underway and at completion will comprise a primary lithium carbonate production circuit designed to deliver an additional 25,000 tonnes per year of primary grade lithium carbonate.

The proposed product mix for the 42,500ktpa operation is 17,500 tpa battery grade lithium carbonate (>99.5% Li₂CO₃) from the existing purification circuit, and 25,000 tpa primary grade lithium carbonate (>99.0% Li₂CO₃).

Approximately 9,500 tonnes of the new production output is expected to be utilised as feedstock for the Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant.

First commissioning is expected by H2 CY22 with a two-year ramp up period to reach the full capacity of 25,000 tpa.

The Cauchari Mineral Resource, located adjacent to the southern boundary of the Olaroz Lithium Facility, has similar brine characteristics and provides additional optionality when considering a potential Stage 3 expansion.

Downloads

TECHNICAL REPORT ON THE SALAR DE OLAROZ LITHIUM-POTASH PROJECT
pdf

Contact

info@allkem.co
T:
+61 7 3064 3600

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