Lithium Americas and SQM form Argentine joint venture.
Lithium Americas and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) are forming a joint venture to develop the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project in Jujuy province, Argentina. The joint venture will go into effect following a capital contribution of $25 million by SQM in-exchange for a 50% ownership stake in Minera Exar S.A., the Lithium Americas subsidiary that is developing the project.
SQM and Lithium Americas will initiate an updated definitive feasibility study for Cauchari-Olaroz based on an existing study completed by Minera Exar in 2012. The updated study will evaluate the economic feasibility of a project having production capacity of approximately 40,000 mt/y of lithium carbonate equivalent. Depending on the results of the study, the project may be executed in stages.
Since inception of the Cauchari-Olaroz project in 2009, Lithium Americas has invested more than $80 million in resource exploration and project development, including approximately 10,000 m of drilling, advanced modeling, and testing and pumping wells. The project is fully permitted for immediate construction and development.
SQM CEO Patricio de Solminihac said, "The Salar de Cauchari is a great complement to our existing lithium operations in Chile, and it is located just a few hundred kilometers from the Salar de Atacama. We expect to have similar production processes at both sites, and as a result we should benefit from operating synergies."
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|Title Annotation:||REGIONAL NEWS--LATIN AMERICA; Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A|
|Publication:||E&MJ - Engineering & Mining Journal|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||May 1, 2016|
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