Canadian Mining Journal


LITHIUM: LiCo Energy Metals withdraws from Chilean project due to community opposition

CHILE – Following its 2017 notice of force majeure that was ratified in January 2018, LiCo Energy Metals announced this week that it has decided to completely drop the Purickuta project in northern Chile.

In a press release, the miner said that management decided to leave Purickuta due to “unworkable property conditions.”

LiCo cites multiple delays associated with its exploration plans on the property over the past 18 months due to opposition from the local indigenous community which the company deems “immense and widespread.” According to the Vancouver-based firm, there is no way in which the project can be realistically explored or developed in the future by any corporate entity.

Two years ago, LiCo Energy Metals made public its intention to acquire up to 60% interest in the Chilean property owned by Durus Copper Chile and contained within an existing exploitation concession owned by Sociedad Quimica y Minera.

Purickuta consists of 160 hectares and is one of a few exploitation concessions granted within the Salar de Atacama, home to approximately 37% of the world’s lithium production. According to LiCo, about 22 km southeast of Purickuta, both SQM and Albemarle have large scale production facilities within a concession granted to the Chilean Economic Development Agency. “These two facilities collectively produce over 62,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent annually and account for 100% of Chile’s current lithium output,” the miner’s website states.

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