Lithium Power, through 50 per cent owned Minera Salar Blanco (MSB), has been awarded a key export licence from the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CCHEN) for lithium production, export and marketing at its Maricunga project in Chile.
The approval permits initial extraction quotas of 88,885 metric tonnes of lithium in brine (or 472,868 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent), with the option to increase said quotas subject to MSB advancing its deep-drilling exploration to the extent that it makes its inferred, measured and indicated resources between 200–400m compliant with JORC and NI 43-101 standards.
MSB can also request an increase in the allocated quota if it presents a special operation contract (CELO) to CCHEN covering mining concessions registered after 1979, something it plans to do later this month.
Martin Holland, chief executive officer of Lithium Power, said the company was delighted to have gained the authorisation and support of CCHEN, reaffirming confidence that the Chilean government would continue to “encourage and protect foreign investment as a leading mining jurisdiction”.
Cristobal Garcia-Huidobro, chief executive officer of MSB, was likewise enthused, calling the permit a key milestone in the advancement of the Maricunga project.
“After four years of successful development […] the company continues to progress on the next step to submit its Environmental Impact Assessment to the authorities, making the Maricunga project the most advanced lithium project in Chile,” he said.