On May 19th, 2014, the government of Salta Province in Argentina formalized the presentation of the proposed public/private partnership for the geological and mining exploration of the Ratones and Centenario salt lakes and the grant by award of mining rights to a lithium deposit in this zone to ERAMINE SUDAMERICA, an ERAMET subsidiary.
The government of Salta made official the agreement signed in April by REMSA, a Salta Province state-owned company, and ERAMINE SUDAMERICA, a wholly-owned Argentinean subsidiary of the French group, giving it ownership of mining rights covering almost 500 km2 in the Centenario and Ratones salt lakes in Argentina’s Salta Province.
Furthermore, under the agreement ERAMINE SUDAMERICA is to carry out a mining resource estimation and valuation programme on the Cuenca Centenario-Ratones deposit. The agreement also provides for a contribution by ERAMINE SUDAMERICA to a training plan for REMSA’s professionals and the continuation of actions undertaken by ERAMINE SUDAMERICA with neighbouring communities.
The agreement’s formalisation marks the completion of a legal process comprised of the presentation of a private initiative, a call for tender, an integral project, its award and the signing of a contract in accordance with current legislation.
Since 2012, ERAMINE SUDAMERICA has carried out exploration campaigns in the region, including geophysical and hydrogeological studies, pumping trials and drilling, leading to in-depth knowledge of the zone of interest. ERAMINE SUDAMERICA has identified deep lithium-bearing brine resources in volumes and quality that could support an industrial project.
In parallel, ERAMET is developing an innovative lithium extraction process with characteristics that significantly reduce the activity’s environmental footprint compared with conventional techniques.
The agreement signed with REMSA is a milestone in ERAMET’s development of a lithium stream in Salta Province and Argentina. With this operation the ERAMET group is stepping up its presence in the Province.