Construction|Design|Energy|Engineering|Mining|PROJECT|Renewable Energy|Resources
Construction|Design|Energy|Engineering|Mining|PROJECT|Renewable Energy|Resources

Sal de Vida lithium project, Argentina – update

Image of the Sal de Vida lithium operation

Photo by Allkem

28th July 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Sal de Vida lithium project.

Catamarca province, Argentina.

Project Owner/s
Allkem (formerly Galaxy Resources).

Project Description
The project is targeting production of about 45 000 t/y of battery-grade lithium carbonate over a 40-year mine life in three stages, with stages 2 and 3 consolidated into one expansion.

Stage 1 will result in production of 15 000 t/y of lithium carbonate.

Stage 2 uses the same basis of design as in Stage 1 and will add 30 000 t/y of production, with project integration planning and detailed engineering to start immediately after Stage 1 milestones have been achieved.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Stage 1 has a pretax net present value (NPV), at a 10% discount rate, of $1.23-billion and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 50%, with a payback from the start of first production of 1.75 years.

Stage 2 has pretax NPV of $1.81-billion and an IRR of 28% on a standalone basis.

Capital Expenditure
The Stage 1 operation is expected to require a capital investment of $271-million. Stage 2 is estimated at $524-million.

Planned Start/End Date
Stage 1 construction of the ponds started in January 2022. Stage 2 construction is expected to start 24 months after the completion of Stage 1 construction.

Latest Developments
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide Allkem with up to A$180-million for the development of its Sal de Vida project.

The financing is IFC's first investment in lithium mining and includes up to $100-million for IFC’s own account and up to $30-million in mobilisation.

An additional $50-million parallel loan arranged by the IFC is expected to close to complete the total financing package.

This is the first time that a greenfield mining project’s financing has been structured as a green and sustainability-linked loan, the IFC has said, noting that the project’s ambitious sustainability targets include increasing the percentage of women in the workforce from 10% in 2022 to 26% by 2030, and expanding the use of renewable energy in the production cycle to 50% by 2030.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Allkem, tel +61 7 3064 3600 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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