Canada’s Wealth Minerals has partnered with thyssenkrupp Mining Technologies to develop the Ollagüe Salar Lithium exploration project in northern Chile.

Under the cooperation and development agreement, the duo will collaborate to initially identify, assess and select the ‘most beneficial and environmentally sustainable’ processing technology for extracting lithium and purification treatment for the Ollagüe Project.

The firms will also develop the project from the exploration stage through to commercial production of high-purity lithium products, as well as define new standards in green mining.

Wealth Minerals Chile executive director Marcelo Awad said: “Traditional evaporation production methods are not an option for us in this project. Our aim is to live up to the highest sustainable standards and to minimise the impact on the environment. thyssenkrupp Mining Technologies, with its wealth of experience and know-how, will help us achieve this.”

The strategic alliance aims to establish the project as a ‘leading benchmark of green mining’ in developing the lithium brine resource.

thyssenkrupp Mining Technologies CEO Jan Lüder said: “Building on our historically strong mining and engineering experience we will set a new standard in green mining with this partnership.”

Covering an area of 8,000ha in Region II, near the Chile-Bolivia border, the Ollagüe Project is an exploration stage lithium brine mineral project in the highly prospective Atacama Salar.

In June, Wealth Minerals started drilling work on the Ollagüe Salar to test brine anomalies as interpreted by prior geophysical studies.

Results from the drill programme, which includes around five holes for a total of 1,500m of diamond drilling, are planned to be augmented by exciting earlier third-party drill information identified by Wealth on the project.