Argentina

Cauchari Project

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeIn-Situ
StagePre-Feasibility
Commodities
  • Lithium
Mine Life... Lock
ShapshotThe Cauchari Project is a planned lithium brine mining and processing facility that will produce lithium carbonate.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Arcadium Lithium plc 100 % Indirect
The Cauchari tenements cover 28,906 ha and consist of 22 minas which were initially applied for on behalf of South American Salars (“SAS”). SAS is a joint venture company with the beneficial owners being Advantage Lithium (“AAL”) with a 75% interest and La Frontera with a 25% stake. La Frontera and AAL are 100% owned by Allkem Limited.

Deposit type

  • Brine

Summary:

The project is a lithium salt lake deposit, located in a closed basin in the Andean mountain range in Northern Argentina.

The sediments within the salar consist of halite, clay, silt, sand and gravel which have accumulated in the salar from terrestrial sedimentation from the sides of the basin. Brine hosting dissolved lithium is present in pore spaces and fractures within unconsolidated sediments.

Evaporation of brines entering and within the salt lake generates the concentrated lithium that is extracted by pumping out the brine.

The sediments are interpreted to be essentially flat lying with unconfined aquifer conditions close to surface and semi-confined to confined conditions at depth.

Salar de Cauchari is a mixed style salar, with a halite nucleus in the centre of the Salar overlain with up to 50 m of fine grained (clay) sediments. The halite core is interbedded with clayey to silty and sandy layers. The Salar is surrounded by relative coarse grained alluvial and fluvial sediments. These fans demark the perimeter of the actual Salar visible in satellite images and at depth extend towards the centre of the Salar where they form the distal facies with an increase in sand and silt. At depth (between 300 m and 600 m) a deep sand unit has been intercepted in several core holes in the SE Sector of the Project area.

The brines from Salar de Cauchari are solutions nearly saturated in sodium chloride with an average concentration of total dissolved solids (“TDS”) of 290 g/l. The average density is 1.19 g/cm3. Components present in the Cauchari brine are potassium, lithium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, sulphate, bicarbonate and boron.

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. Annual
Lithium t 25,000
All production numbers are expressed as carbonate.

Operational metrics

Metrics
Annual production capacity  ....  Subscribe
Daily brine extraction  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2023 study.

Production Costs

CommodityUnitsAverage
Cash costs Li2CO3 USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Li2CO3 USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2023 study / presentation.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
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Pre-tax NPV @ 10% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 10% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
After-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
Pre-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 Sep 30, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Sep 30, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Sep 30, 2023

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