The Maricunga project when combined with a potential Nitrate acquisition would create the following rooted synergies:
- Based on preliminary chemical analysis, the Maricunga Project has the potential to produce lithium as well as a significant amount of potassium chloride (potash). Production of potassium would significantly improve the economics of the Alfredo nitrate operation, as sodium nitrate from the caliche deposit can be reacted with potassium chloride to produce a value added potassium nitrate (KNO3). Potassium nitrate is a valuable product used in fertilizers which would create additional revenue.
- A stand-alone Potassium Nitrate project would produce iodine and a sodium sulfate byproduct, which is needed to remove magnesium from brines in order to get a pure lithium product. The sodium sulfate can then be used as a low cost raw material which can be employed in Maricunga, subsequently improving its economics. This would generate a credit for the lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) produced at Maricunga, reducing cash costs.
Li3 is currently evaluating several potential acquisition candidates to augment its value added strategy.