Brine / Clay
The Tama Atacama Lithium Project is one of the most strategically placed lithium brine projects in South America.
The Tama Atacama Lithium Project is a series of brine and clay lithium holdings located in the Atacama desert in Northern Chile. Tama Atacama consists of 7 highly prospective lithium prospects covering a total area of ~1,600km² and spanning over 290km from south to north. Tama Atacama’s strategic advantages include its altitude, at 800-1100m it is one of the lowest brine projects in the South American peer group, it has major road and energy infrastructure passing by or through all holdings, and it located about 40-60km from the coast, and the city of Iquique is about 75km by road from the Pink Lithium Prospect. Iquique has a population of ~200,000 and a deep water port and commercial airport.
The Tama-Atacama Lithium Project areas (Projects) are hosted within the Pampa del Tamarugal Basin (PT Basin), a 12,500km2 sedimentary basin located in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. The Projects exhibit strong potential for deeper lithium brines and shallow lithium clays.
The PT Basin is a major paleo-basin developed during the last 25 million years, as a consequence to uplift of the Domeyko or Pre Cordillera (western Andes) to the east, and the Coastal Cordillera to the west, which acted as a natural barrier for drainage emanating from the western Andes whereby intermittent, but larger amounts of precipitation relative to present has bought water and sediments via several large river valleys and progressively filled the basin. Thick sedimentary, local volcanic and evaporite sequences developed until the Loa and Camarones rivers were able to commence draining this large paleo lake in the south and north respectively.
Prior to this draining, the PT Basin was characterised by a huge ephemeral lagoon of ponded Andean drainage which carried large amounts of sediments in a fluvial to lacustrine environment present in the basin. Over time, the generally high background levels of lithium and associated elements in the groundwater-sediments became further enriched via episodic evaporation under increasingly arid conditions. There may also be a hydrothermal water/lithium input from lithium rich fluids migrating up fault zones or migrating downstream from surficial hydrothermal discharges. This model is applicable to the younger Salar’s higher in the Andes, such as Salar de Atacama, and reconnaissance work suggests similar geochemical signatures in the salars which form the northern portion of Tama Atacama.
Tama Atacama consists of 7 highly prospective lithium prospects covering a total area of ~1,600km² and spanning over 290km from south to north.
The Pink Lithium Prospect (Pink) is the priority prospect, it is located in the Tarapacá Region, in northern Chile, near the town of La Tirana and other small settlements. The Salar Pintados and Bellavista are part of the larger PT Basin. The area has excellent access with the major northern highway running through it, as well as a network of other roads and tracks. The nearest large city is Iquique, located around 75-90km on the coast to the west. The mining service town of Pozo Almonte is located immediately north of the project area.
Certain areas of the Salars host historic borate, potassium and salt extraction, with many areas immediately west of the Salar the host to historic nitrate mining. There is little record of any of these past mining activities. Records for previous exploration and mining are essentially non-existent as there was no requirement to lodge reports for exploration or mining activity in Chile at that time. In the 1960’s-70’s ENAP, the then National Petroleum Company, conducted oil and gas exploration in the PT Basin. Work included seismic surveying and drilling. Reported drilling results indicate basin sediments from around 300-700m thick with brines located within this horizon. There are some reports about shallow groundwater investigations, particularly in the north to eastern parts of Salar Pintados. These remain to be fully interpreted.
PAM believes the Pink prospect has potential for deeper Li rich brines from about 250-700m, which are hosted in consolidated to semi-consolidated sedimentary/evaporite horizons. At and near surface. PAM believes there is potential for Li hosted in clays and evaporite layers.