ENERGY MINERALS

Albemarle to improve Atacama lithium yields by 30%

Albemarle has said it will invest in a new technology to increase lithium carbonate yields from its Salar de Atacama production facilities in Chile by 30%.

Staff Reporter
Albemarle's lithium evaporation ponds in Atacama, Chile

Albemarle's lithium evaporation ponds in Atacama, Chile

CEO Luke Kissim said earthworks would commence in the July quarter with commissioning planned for the second half of 2021.

"We have commenced a capital investment project that is expected to improve out lithium carbonate yields … by as much as 30% without increasing the amount of brine being used further ensuring the sustainability of the Salar de Atacama and increasing the flexibility of our operations," he said.

Kissim provided no details about the technology or the investment it would make.

In October, the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CCHEN), which authorises lithium production quotas, rejected an increase to Albemarle's quota on the grounds that insufficient information had been supplied by the company about the investments it wanted to make.

The company expects to produce 40,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate this year from its La Negra 1 and 2 operations, with the 40,000t oper annum La Negra 3 and 4 expansion projects due to be completed at the end of 2020 or early 2021 after equipment delays.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the farming sector, brought to you by the Kondinin team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the farming sector, brought to you by the Kondinin team.

editions

Mining Journal Intelligence Project Pipeline Handbook 2024

View our 50 top mining projects, handpicked using a unique, objective selection process from a database of 450+ global assets.

editions

Mining Journal Intelligence Investor Sentiment Report 2024

Survey revealing the plans, priorities, and preferences of 120+ mining investors and their expectations for the sector in 2024.

editions

Mining Journal Intelligence Mining Equities Report 2023

Access an exclusive, inside look on the quarterly mining IPOs and secondary raisings data and mining equities performance tables with an annual Stock Exchange Comparisons supplement.

editions

Mining Journal Intelligence World Risk Report 2023 (feat. MineHutte ratings)

A detailed analysis of mining investment risks across 121 jurisdictions globally, built on 11 ‘hard risk’ metrics and an industrywide survey.