Minera Exar S.A. inaugurated its first productive swimming pool in the Olaroz-Cauchari saltworks, located in the department of Susques, south of Puna Jujeña, as part of the evaporite process to obtain lithium carbonate, its directors reported.
"Jujuy's contribution to the lithium triangle of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia is very important, and it is a central step to change the productive matrix in the province, and in light of the change that the global energy matrix is having," he said. the governor Gerardo Morales, to make feasible the construction with the president of Exar, Franco Mignacco.
The well inaugurated yesterday has 2 kilometers of extension by 300 meters of width and capacity of filling of 1.9 meters of brine. "There will be a production of great magnitude and as planned, will be the most important in Jujuy and the country," said the president. "Lithium, mining, renewable energy, tourism, among others, are the fundamental pillars of this great change in the production matrix," said Morales.
Exar, owner of one of the largest salt mining areas, works with energy efficiency for the concentration of lithium produced by solar and wind evaporation.
On the other hand, the Secretary of Mining of the Nation, Carolina Sánchez, stressed that the mining activity of lithium "has a strong momentum in the country where Jujuy is taking advantage of its potential to develop it."
In this context, he said, "there is a worldwide demand for lithium in the form of lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide or lithium chloride, not only for the manufacture of batteries but also for other uses, so the challenge will also be to put the product ". On the other hand, he stressed that the establishment of mining companies favors the development of local communities and "means opportunities for the people, which prevents uprooting and improves economic conditions."
Exar currently has 180 workers, of whom almost half belong to the communities of Pastos Chicos, Huancar, Puesto Sey and Susques, among others, in the department of Susques.
For Exar's president, Franco Mignacco, filling in the company's first pool marks "a before and after in the project that has gone through ten years with many ups and downs, but we have come to this point that makes us very proud of everyone." " It is a process that is just beginning and in a few days we will finish building a second well, "he added.
Exar's development plan began immediately after announcing its decision to advance the Cauchari-Olaroz project with the initial Phase 1 production target of 25,000 tpa and a Phase 2 expansion of 25,000 tpa.
Current authorities have estimated that in the first half of 2020 Exar will be producing and selling lithium carbonate, especially for the lithium-ion battery market.
Exar S.A. is a joint venture owned by Lithium Americas (62.5%) and Ganfeng Lithium (37.5%).
The project is operated by a public-private partnership, where state-owned Jujuy Energía Mining S.E. (JEMSE) participates with 8.5%.