About

Sal de Vida

Catamarca, Argentina

Product
Lithium carbonate
Status
Development
Ownership
100%

Highlights

Battery Grade LC

Product Quality

10.7ktpa

Stage 1 annual target

32ktpa

Long term annual target

+44 years

Project life

170

Long term jobs for Stage 1

430

Jobs during Stage 1 construction

The tier 1 brine project is located in Catamarca Province on the Salar del Hombre Muerto, ~1,400km northwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina and ~200km from Allkem’s flagship Olaroz Lithium Facility. Catamarca is a proven mining jurisdiction, home to several successful mining operations and development projects.

Overview

Sal de Vida is a globally competitive project with superior brine chemistry that readily upgrades to battery grade lithium carbonate.

Sal de Vida is a globally competitive project with superior brine chemistry that readily upgrades to battery grade lithium carbonate.

The Resource estimate of 6.2 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) has an average grade of 754 ppm Li and low levels of impurities, making Sal de Vida one of the highest-quality brines globally. The Reserve estimate of 1.3 million tonnes of LCE supports a 44 year project life.

The deposit sits more than 4,000 metres above sea level and lies within the “lithium triangle”, an area encompassing Chile, Bolivia and Argentina that contains a significant portion of the world’s estimated lithium resources.

The project is designed to produce predominantly battery grade lithium carbonate through an evaporation and processing operation at the Salar del Hombre Muerto site.

The adoption of battery grade as a final product was the result of a technical breakthrough achieved by the process development team. The simplistic flowsheet utilises mature technology, and was internally developed based on its low consumption of energy and water.

A staged development approach has also been adopted to expedite the product qualification period and allow Stage 1 cash flow to contribute to funding the expansion.

The initial production target of 10,700tpa in Stage 1 is expandible to a 32,000 tpa brine operation in subsequent stage(s), utilising the design basis from Stage 1.

Long-term hydrological pump testing under operating conditions has demonstrated excellent brine extraction and aquifer recharge rates to support the production design basis.

Outlook

The 2021 Sal de Vida Feasibility Study confirms a globally competitive brine operation with lowest quartile capital and operating costs.

Stage 1 is in the design and early construction phase with commissioning and first production targeted for late 2022.

Construction and procurement activities for the wells, gathering network and ponds are underway and detailed engineering for the process plant and non-process infrastructure is advancing.

The staged development approach provides a lower risk pathway to a large-scale operation a study is being progressed to increase the production output to 32,000 tpa in a single expansion stage.

Wellfield drilling undertaken in 2021 resulted in average lithium grades of 933ppm Li, ~24% higher than the resource grade. Upside to the project will be defined after completion of this drilling campaign.

Downloads

Sal de Vida Project
pdf

Contact

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

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