Allkem has secured green loan of US$130 million (A$191.5 million) to fund Sal de Vida, a lithium brine project in Argentina.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will the early development of the project over a ten-year period, with Allkem considering other finance options for an additional US$50 million (A$73.6 million).
Sal de Vida is a Tier 1 brine project which lies in the ‘lithium triangle’ between Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. Though Australia is the world’s largest producer of lithium, it is Chile that holds the crown of the biggest resource – and most of that comes from the triangle.
The project is designed to produce battery grade lithium carbonate through an evaporation and processing operation.
Stage one of the project has a production target of 15,000 tonnes per annum (tpa), which will later be expanded to 45,000tpa with stage two.
The project financing agreement with IFC has strict environmental, social and governance requirements built into the contract to ensure the responsible development of lithium by Allkem.
“We are proud to partner with IFC to ensure long-term safe and sustainable operations, responsible products, and thriving communities,” Allkem chief executive officer Martin Perez de Solay said.
“We are committed to the highest sustainability standards for Sal de Vida so that it will contribute to the economy of Catamarca via local employment, the development of local supply chains, and community development programs.”