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.


Location: Catamarca and Salta Provinces, Argentina
M&A evaluates one of the world’s largest, high-quality, undeveloped lithium-potash brine resources.


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