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Maiden ore reserve for Maricunga lithium project in northern Chile

 


 

By Argus

SANTIAGO

Petroleumworld 01 22 2019

Sydney-based Lithium Power International has declared a maiden ore reserve at its 51pc-owned Maricunga lithium joint venture in northern Chile and expects to soon release an updated definitive feasibility study on the project.

A proven and probable ore reserve of 742,000t of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) has been declared, easily exceeding the reserve needed to support a 20 year mine life, the company said. The mineral resource at the project has been updated to 2.07mn t of LCE and 5.3mn t of potash.

After the lithium pond and process recovery efficiency of 58pc has been applied, the ore reserve reduces to 430,000t, still more than enough to support 20 years of production at a rate of 20,000 t/yr of lithium carbonate.

Located in the so-called "lithium triangle" that straddles Chile, Argentina and Bolivia, the project is regarded as one of the highest quality undeveloped lithium brine projects in the world.

"The reserve more than supports 20 years of production with an average input grade of brine pumped from aquifers to the ponds of 1,050-1,200 mg/l lithium, highlighting the exceptional grade of the Maricunga project," chief executive Cristobal Garcia-Huidobro said.

 


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