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.
- 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
- 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