Brine Mineral Resource & Reserve Estimates for the Sal de Vida Project

M&A conducted technical investigations to support the development of an inferred, indicated, and measured, resource estimate for lithium brines, as well as probable and proven reserve estimates.


The Sal de Vida deposit, located in the Salar del Hombre Muerto in northwest Argentina, is a lithium-potash brine resource. The brines have been concentrated by evaporation, resulting in highly anomalous — and potentially commercial — quantities of lithium and potassium.


M&A provided a variety of hydrogeologic services for this project in accordance with guidelines of the Canadian Securities Administrators National Instrument (NI) 43-101 and the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC). Principal Mike Rosko served as the Qualified Person for field investigations and technical reporting.

Brine Resources

  • Conducted an extensive diamond-drilling exploration program and collected hundreds of core samples for laboratory measurement of drainable porosity and depth-specific brine samples for geochemical analysis
  • Installed exploration wells and conducted short- and long-term pumping tests to measure aquifer transmissivity and collect composite brine samples
  • Developed vertical profiles of brine temperature and electrical conductivity
  • Conducted low-flow brine sampling at monitoring wells
  • Developed a conceptual geologic model based on the results of exploration drilling and testing, and advanced water balance methods
  • Developed block models and groundwater flow models to estimate resources
  • Prepared comprehensive reports that met NI 43-101 requirements

3D Geologic Modeling

  • Developed a 3D geospatial model using Leapfrog Hydro to provide a basis for designing the layers and flow domain in the groundwater model and for supporting resource estimates

Groundwater Modeling

  • Developed a model using MODFLOW-SURFACT to simulate density-dependent flow and transport within the brine aquifer; converted that model to MODFLOW USG for improved performance
  • Projected TDS concentrations and evaluated the feasibility of production-level pumping from two planned wellfields in the Salar del Hombre Muerto basin
  • Developed JORC-compliant proven / probable mineral reserve estimates and predicted brine grades over a 40-year project life
  • Evaluated pumping over a 40-year period, refining the wellfield layouts to maximize lithium production and minimize drawdown.
  • Evaluated the potential impact to other concession holders in the area