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Codelco to begin exploration work in Maricunga Salt Flat

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Global Mining Review,

After obtaining the last sectoral permit on 26 January 2022, Codelco will begin the authorisation of the accesses on 17 February 2022 that will allow it to start its exploration campaign in the Maricunga Salt Flat, located in the Atacama Region.

This milestone marks the beginning of this stage of the project. It is estimated that the holes will begin at the end of March and will last about 10 months. Depending on the results of the campaign, specifically the concentrations of dissolved lithium in the brines of these mining properties, the company will define whether it is environmentally and economically feasible to continue with the development of the next stages of the project.

It should be remembered that the National Lithium Policy and Wage Governance, issued in 2016, commissioned Codelco, together with the Ministry of Mining, to evaluate the feasibility of exploiting existing lithium in the Maricunga Salt Flat, through public-private partnerships, considering respect for and care for social, economic and environmental axes.

Thus, during 2018 the mining company began the design of its exploration campaign and the elaboration of its Environmental Impact Statement (DIA), which incorporated the characterisation of the salt flat environment during the four seasons of the year. The DIA was entered into processing at the beginning of 2020 and in November of the same year the Environmental Qualification Resolution (RCA) was obtained.

Since then, Codelco processed sectoral, multisectoral and territorial permits, delivering detailed documentation to the National Service of Geology and Mining (Sernageomin), Roads and National Goods, a process that concluded favourably in January 2022.

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Lithium mining news South American mining news