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Argentina's US$740mn Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project reaches 90% progress

Bnamericas Published: Friday, October 21, 2022
Argentina's US$740mn Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project reaches 90% progress

Construction of the first stage of the US$741mn Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project in Argentina’s Jujuy province is on track to wrap up this year, with work 90% complete, according to a social media post by project owner Ganfeng Lithium.

Ganfeng has a 51% stake in operator Minera Exar, a JV with Canada’s Lithium Americas.

In an initial stage, it will produce 40,000t/y of battery-grade lithium carbonate and work continues to progress toward production upon completion of all purification circuits, according to a corporate presentation.

Access roads, platforms for the wells, warehouse buildings, a gas pipeline, lime plant, a 33kV power line, a 13.2kV distribution line, solid-state lighting and water pipes are complete. 

Key areas of the processing plant are being prepared to begin commissioning shortly, supported by the completion of power line, gas line and water line connections. But the purification process to achieve battery-grade lithium carbonate is expected to start only early next year.

According to the report, purchase agreements at current market prices are in place for more than 80% of Lithium America’s participation in the planned production of stage 1.

Meanwhile, Lithium Americas and Ganfeng have begun planning stage 2, involving at least 20,000t/y, and continue to advance development of the exploration well field. Stage 2 is expected to start in 2023.

Ganfeng and Lithium Americas are entitled to 51% and 49% of production. Useful life is around 40 years.


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