Mining Intelligence and News

3Q (Tres Quebradas) Mine

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Mine TypeIn-Situ
  • Lithium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
Mining Method
  • Solution mining
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotThe Tres Quebradas Salar Project is one of the largest and highest grade projects of its kind in the world.

Loaded production of Phase 1 of the Tres Quebradas Salar project commenced in the end of 2023. Partial construction of Phase 2 of the Tres Quebradas Salar project commenced in March 2023.

After the full completion of construction and reaching the designated production capacity, the Tres Quebradas Salar (Phase 1 and Phase 2) is expected to form a production capacity of lithium carbonate of 40 thousand to 60 thousand tonnes per annum.


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

Deposit type

  • Evaporite
  • Brine


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.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.



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CommodityUnitsAvg. Annual (Projected)
Lithium t 16,951
All production numbers are expressed as carbonate.

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.


Mine Management

Job TitleNamePhoneEmailProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 25, 2021
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Total WorkforceYear
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