January 05, 2024

Canadian firm Wealth Minerals reached an important milestone in its development of the Kuska project (formerly known as the Ollagüe project) at the Salar de Ollagüe, Antofagasta region, Chile, with the release of a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA)
The PEA describes the Kuska project development towards a 20,000 metric tpa LCE output and an anticipated Life of Mine (LOM) of 20 years. The Company intends to use a mature DLE technology (TRL 8 in the PEA) converting lithium-bearing brine into battery-grade Lithium Carbonate (LC).
Wealth Minerals spent almost 1.5 years to analyze and select market-ready DLE technologies for the PEA. The final selected technology converts lithium-bearing brine into highly pure lithium chloride concentrate and a refinement step to convert the lithium-rich eluate into high purity lithium carbonate (>99.5% LC).
Operations will be scaled up in two phases. The initial phase envisions building out a mining operation and plant with a capacity of 10,000 tpa LCE, which will then be scaled up to double that capacity within two years with a second production module for a total of 20,000 tpa LCE at the Kuska project.
The mining operation consists of a well field with necessary lithium-rich brine pumping capacity and a re-injection feed system to return Li-depleted brine back into the salar. The combination of wells and depleted brine operations, together with DLE methods, enable a near-zero environmental impact on the salar to preserve salar integrity and water equilibrium to the maximum extent possible.
Wealth is a mineral resource company with interests in Canada and Chile. The company’s focus is the acquisition and development of lithium projects in South America.
(Source and image: Wealth Minerals – Kuska project environment in Northern Chile)