Minera Salar Blanco has obtained the required environmental permits for the Maricunga lithium project in Chile.
MSB, owned by Lithium Power International and Bearing Lithium together with a holding company of Chilean investors, will invest $500mn with production plans of 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent and 74,000 tonnes of potassium chloride annually during the 20-year useful life of the mine.
Maricunga is the first lithium production project outside the Salar de Atacama, where Chile's largest lithium production is concentrated.
Cristóbal García-Huidobro, General Manager of MSB, commented that the environmental report submitted for approval passed the legal requirements of Chile's environmental approval system and that the additional hydrological and hydrogeological models that had been carried out contributed to the study of feasibility in progress, carried out by Worley Parsons.
MSB expects to obtain full approval by the end of next year, when the company will decide whether to move ahead with construction.