Argentina

Pastos Grandes Project

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeIn-Situ
StagePermitting
Commodities
  • Lithium
Mining Method
  • Brine mining
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotAn Environmental Impact Assessment-Exploitation for construction and operation of a 24,000 tonne per year battery-quality lithium carbonate production facility was approved in June 2020, and a Declaracion de Impacto Ambiental (DIA) from the Environmental and Mining Authority in Salta Province, Argentina was issued.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Lithium Americas Corp. 100 % Indirect
On January 25, 2022, the Lithium Americas Corp. acquired Millennial Lithium Corp. (“Millennial”) and added its Argentinean lithium project Pastos Grandes to its pipeline of projects.

The Lithium Americas Corp conducts operations through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Millennial in Canada and Proyecto Pastos Grandes S.A. in Argentina.

Deposit type

  • Brine

Summary:

Deposit Type
The Salar de Pastos Grandes is classified as a “Silver Peak, Nevada” type, terrigenous salar. Silver Peak, Nevada, USA was the first lithium-bearing brine deposit exploited in the world. These deposits are characteristic of arid zone, restricted basins within deep structural depressions in-filled with inter bedded clays, salt (halite), sands and gravels. In the Salar de Pastos Grandes, a lithium-bearing aquifer developed during arid climatic periods under similar conditions.

Mineralization
Ulexite hosted in Quaternary and modern sediments is common in the eastern side of the salar, close to the road to Sijes. It occurs either as small rounded concretions (“papas") in red clays and brown sands, or as a continuous layer (“barra”). Ulexite and colemanite are observed in the horizons of borates hosted in the Sijes Formation (Late Miocene) outcropping east and south of the Pastos Grandes Salar.

Halite is a common mineral within the Salar Pastos Grandes and is mined by digging pools of 4 meter by 1 meter wide and 1 meter. The pools become filled with brine rich in NaCl. The water evaporates at a rate of 6-8 mm/day, concentrating crystalline halite. Each pool is filled with salt in 5 to 6 months and "harvested" with backhoes or loaders. It is accumulated for dehydration before being shipped in bulk or in large bags.

Mineralization at the Property includes lithium-potassium rich – relatively low magnesium brine as detected through surface sampling and drilling. The brine can be classified as a sulphate-chloride type with anomalous lithium. Lithium concentrations at the surface at Pastos Grande Salar range from about 100-300 mg/L. Lithium concentrations increase with depth, with holes as shallow as 10 meters reporting as much as 400 mg/L. A value of 578 mg/L was reported at a depth of 30 meters in borehole DW01PG. The highest values at surface occur along the western margin of the salar, while at depth the values increase towards the south-central basin. Potassium-lithium ratios throughout the drilled area are in the 10:1 to 12:1 range. This is comparable to Salar de Hombre Muerto, where process simulations indicated a rate of production for potash at slightly less than 4 tonnes of potash for each tonne of LCE produced.

Average magnesium:lithium ratio is about 6.3:1 based on recent exploration drilling and testing. The lowest values found in the lithium triangle are in the range of 2.5:1.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnitsAvg. AnnualLOM
Lithium t 24,000942,000
All production numbers are expressed as carbonate.

Operational metrics

Metrics
Annual production capacity 24,000 t of lithium carbonate *
* According to 2019 study.

Production Costs

CommodityUnitsAverage
Total cash costs Li2CO3 USD 3,388 / t *  
Assumed price Li2CO3 USD 13,050 / t *  
* According to 2019 study / presentation.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Initial CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Expansion CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Working capital $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Sustaining CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
G&A costs $M USD 2.9
Total OpEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Income Taxes $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Royalty payments $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Gross revenue (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Net Income (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 10% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 8% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 10% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 8% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
After-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax payback period, years  ......  Subscribe
After-tax payback period, years  ......  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Jul 29, 2019
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Dec 11, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Dec 11, 2023

Total WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2019

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