Salinas Grandes – Argentina
Dajin Resource S.A. (Dajin) holds 100% interest in concessions or concession applications in Jujuy province of Argentina that cover regions known to or believed to contain brines rich in lithium, potassium and boron. The concessions total approximately 93,000 hectares (230,000 acres) in various drainage basins including 51,970 hectares (128,421 acres) of salar (salt lake) in Salinas Grandes and 41,068 hectares (101,481 acres) in Guayatoyoc salt lake basin. salar (salt lake) in Salinas Grandes and 41,068 hectares (101,481 acres) in Guayatoyoc salt lake basin. Salinas Grandes/Guayatayoc salt lakes basin was chosen as Dajin’s principal focus for lithium exploration on the basis of data that are published in various scientific publications, indicating both permissive brine chemistries accompanied by lithium concentrations in surface and near surface waters that are within the range of lithium concentrations being produced elsewhere and enabling infrastructure. Access to the concessions is by paved national highway and the several local population centers are serviced by the regional electric grid.
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The Salinas Grandes/Guayatayoc salt lakes basin is contained in a closed basin that is fault bonded to the west forming a Tertiary age sedimentary basin. Based on seismic interpretations the basin may be as much as 800 metres thick and contain additional salt layers, below and adjacent to the current salt beds, which are believed to have been deposited during earlier climatic maxima. The older salt beds are similar in thickness to the current salt deposits in that seismic profiles indicate the salt beds may be as much as 150 to 200 metres thick. The potential exists for the older brines that flood the sedimentary/structural basins to contain substantially greater concentrations of lithium and potassium than the current near surface brines due to the more extreme climatic conditions extant during earlier climatic maxima when these older salt deposits were precipitated. Anomalously high lithium concentrations, up to 1,600ppm, in near surface brines present in specific regions of Salinas Grandes salt lake are believed to be due to recharge of the salt lake by seepage of paleo brines along faults bounding the sedimentary/structural basins. Additional advantages to a production plan based on the brine flooded sediments anticipated in the sedimentary/structural basins is that the specific yield of lithium in brine from the clastic sediments is not expected to be restricted by either low permeability due to recrystalizing salt or brine dilution during periodic flooding of Salinas Grandes by fresh water.
A series of high elevation closed topographic basins that trend generally parallel to the axis of the Andes in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador are the sites of brine accumulation in salt water lakes. These brines are variably rich in lithium, potassium, boron and other metals. The brines reportedly form mineable resources of lithium, potassium and boron in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. To the best of the author’s knowledge, in South America the cited metals are only produced in Chile, where Lithium, Potassium and Boron are produced at Salar Atacama, and in Argentina where lithium is produced directly from the brines at Salar Hombre Muerto. In addition to the aforementioned locations, other projects in late stage exploration are the brines in the salars Rincón, Olaroz, Salinas Grandes and Antofalla en Argentina; Uyuni in Bolivia and Coipasa in Chile. The table that follows is a summary of chemical data from salt lakes or brine pools in South America and in the United States that are sources of lithium production or that have been in the past or for which exploration projects have recently been proposed. It is clear from the comparison that viability of a lithium brine project depends on more than the absolute lithium grade of the deposit. Lithium is produced as one of several byproducts at most brine operations and the cost of production depends on the chemistries of the brines used as source materials for the solar evaporation ponds. Generally the greater the quantity of magnesium and calcium present in the brine relative to the lithium grade and the more complex the chemistry of the brine the greater will be the costs of production.
Dajin Resources S.A. has signed an agreement with the Cooperativa de Trabajo Minero Producción de Boratos Jujeños Ltda. (The Mining Cooperative for the Production of Borates, Ltd.) in Jujuy Province, Argentina (the “Cooperative”). The Cooperative holds the mining rights to two properties in the south-east part of Salinas Grandes. This agreement has a payment of $US60,000 which gives Dajin the exclusive right to explore the property during the term of three (3) years. At the end of the three years, Dajin has the right to Option the property for a thirty-year time period for a payment of $700,000. During production Dajin will pay the Cooperative a 3% royalty.
The mining leases held by the Cooperative, “Navidad” and “San Jose”, cover a total area of 4,400 hectares (10873 acres). An initial payment of $US20,000 has been made and the Cooperativa now must acquire the exploration permits to receive a further payment of $US40,000. These permits will be the first to be granted to Dajin for exploration work in Salinas Grandes, a salar where Dajin has staked ground of 80,248 hectares (198,000 acres).
On February 27, 2016, Dajin Director, Dr. Catherine Hickson met with representatives of the Tres Morros community and signed an agreement of cooperation for the exploration phase of the project. Photo at the right is Andrés Castillo, Tres Morros community leader, and Hickson signing the accord. Below, Lawyer for the Community, drafts the agreement. (left) and community Matriarch, Maria Dominga Cordoba signs.
Salinas Grandes is approximately 70 km to the east of the recently completed Lithium plants of Cauchari-Olaroz (Lithium America/Western Lithium) and Orocobre./
Dajin has completed an interpretation of seismic data covering part of its acquisitions and has identified a series of salt horizons that are very prospective for brines rich in lithium, boron and potash.
Dajin is taking the necessary steps to move this project forward and obtain an exploration permit from the UGAMP governing body. Steps have also been taken, to strengthen Dajin’s Board of Directors with individuals that possess the knowledge and industry experience to implement Dajin’s exploration program in Argentina. Dajin has also taking steps to seek out other individuals and/or groups interested in joint ventures and information sharing. Upon receiving an exploration permit, Dajin will immediately commence an exploration program that will determine depths and locations of brines, will characterize lithium, potash and boron concentration and will hydraulically test aquifer and initiate an evaporation sequence study, which will follow with a preparation of an NI 43-101 geological report.
Andrés Castillo, Tres Morros community leader and Dr. Hickson signing the accord.