Lithium Americas and SQM Form Argentine Joint Venture

Lithium Americas and Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) are forming a joint venture to develop the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project in Jujuy province, Argentina. The joint venture will go into effect following a capital contribution of $25 million by SQM in exchange for a 50% ownership stake in Minera Exar S.A., the Lithium Americas subsidiary that is developing the project.

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Escondida’s Third Concentrator Poised for Production

Minera Escondida recently inaugurated its third copper concentrate plant, the $4.2 billion Organic Growth Project One facility, at a ceremony held on-site. The plant will add 152,000 t/d to the capacity of Escondida’s two other concentrators, resulting in the industry’s highest copper processing capacity (422,000 t/d nominal).

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Torex Reaches Commercial Production at El Limón-Guajes

Torex Gold Resources’ El Limón-Guajes open-pit gold-silver mine in Guerrero state, Mexico reached commercial production in late March, having operated for more than 30 consecutive days at an average plant throughput of 9,470 metric tons per day (mt/d). Design throughput capacity is 14,000 mt/d. At full production, the plant will produce an average of 369,000 ounces per year (oz/y) of gold and 214,000 oz/y of silver in doré bars over a period of nine years.

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Agreement Sets Funding Requirements for Samarco Dam Disaster Recovery

Samarco Mineração and its joint-venture shareholders, Vale and BHP Billiton, signed an agreement in early March with Brazil’s federal government, the Brazilian states of Espirito Santo and Minas Gerais, and certain other public authorities to fund restoration of the environment and communities affected by the disastrous Samarco tailings dam failure that occurred on November 5. The disaster killed 19 people, devastated surrounding communities and polluted the Rio Doce for hundreds of kilometers downstream.

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