Argentina

3Q (Tres Quebradas) Project

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeIn-Situ
StageConstruction
Commodities
  • Lithium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
Mining Method
  • Solution mining
Mine Life50 years (as of Jan 1, 2021)
ShapshotThe Tres Quebradas Salar Project is one of the largest and highest grade projects of its kind in the world.

The project has 2 phases. Phase 1 of the project, with a capacity of 20 thousand tonnes of lithium carbonate per annum, is anticipated to complete construction and commence production by the end of 2023. In May 2023, the 300-tonne crude lithium carbonate system was completed and put into operation, and the first batch of crude lithium carbonate was produced.

Phase 2 construction, which will increase the total production to 50,000 tonnes LCE, was initiated in March 2023.

After phase 1 and phase 2 complete construction and reach the designated production capacity, the production capacity of lithium carbonate is expected to be 40 thousand to 60 thousand tonnes per annum.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Zijin Mining Group Co., Ltd 100 % Indirect
Zijin Mining Group owns 100% equity interest in 3Q (Tres Quebradas) Project through a wholly owned subsidiary, LIEX S.A.

Deposit type

  • Evaporite
  • Brine

Summary:

The area within and just outside the 3Q Project catchment is characterized by volcanic cones reaching heights of 6,000 masl or greater. Successive tectonic episodes and reactivation of hydrogeomorphological dynamics in an extremely arid environment have formed low level drainage networks. This has resulted in conformation of inter-mountain basin areas and positive relief in the area. Salar in-fill units were differentiated in 3Q Salar and are the target of the current exploration. These salar in-fill units, or hydrostratigraphic units, from deepest to shallowest are:

- Fanglomerate - overlies the hydrogeologic basement and is composed of fanglomerates, medium-coarse sandstones and breccias;
- Lower Sediments - composed of sandstones and siltstones with minor gypsum laminae;
- Massive Halite - composed of fine to coarse-grained halite;
- Porous Halite - composed of medium to coarse-grained halite, with granular intervals of loose crystals;
- Upper Sediments - composed of reddish sandstones, silty sandstones, and plastic shales, mixed with halite crystals; and
- Hyper-Porous Halite - composed of medium to coarse-grained halite with high inter-crystalline porosity.

Overall, the information at the 3Q Project indicates that the lithium and potassium grades and the levels of impurities compare favourably against other brine deposits.

The 3Q Salar has aspects of both evaporite-dominant and clastic-dominant salar types. Within the salar, there is a substantial occurrence of evaporite sequences in excess of 200 m. However, there are also three laterally extensive clastic units (Upper Sediments, Lower Sediments, and Fanglomerate) that show evidence of extended periods of clastic-dominant deposition. Furthermore, there are frequent small clastic layers, ranging from a few to several cm, within the evaporite units. These small clastic layers tend to increase in frequency and/or thickness with proximity to the formal clastic units, often forming a gradual transition zone from the evaporite units to the clastic units.

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 16,951
All production numbers are expressed as carbonate.

Operational metrics

Metrics
Annual production capacity 00000
Annual processing rate 0000000
Brine extraction, LOM 0000
* According to 2021 study.

Production Costs

CommodityUnitsAverage
Cash costs Li2CO3 USD 0000
Assumed price Li2CO3 USD 00000
* According to 2021 study / presentation.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Initial CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
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Sustaining CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Total OpEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Gross revenue (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
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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

Source Source
Job TitleNamePhoneEmailProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 25, 2021
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required ........... Subscription required ........... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 25, 2021
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Aug 28, 2023

Total WorkforceYear
Subscription required 2021

Aerial view:

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