Sal de Vida (IFC-45668)

  • Latin America and Caribbean
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
  • Argentina
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Specific Location
Province of Catamarca
Whenever identified, the area within countries where the impacts of the investment may be experienced. Exact locations of projects may not be identified fully or at all in project documents. Please review updated project documents and community-led assessments.
Financial Institutions
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Stage of the project cycle. Stages vary by development bank and can include: pending, approval, implementation, and closed or completed.
Bank Risk Rating
Environmental and social categorization assessed by the development bank as a measure of the planned project’s environmental and social impacts. A higher risk rating may require more due diligence to limit or avoid harm to people and the environment. For example, "A" or "B" are risk categories where "A" represents the highest amount of risk. Results will include projects that specifically recorded a rating, all other projects are marked ‘U’ for "Undisclosed."
Voting Date
Dec 8, 2022
Date when project documentation and funding is reviewed by the Board for consideration and approval. Some development banks will state a "board date" or "decision date." When funding approval is obtained, the legal documents are accepted and signed, the implementation phase begins.
A public entity (government or state-owned) provided with funds or financial support to manage and/or implement a project.
  • Energy
  • Mining
The service or industry focus of the investment. A project can have several sectors.
Investment Type(s)
The categories of the bank investment: loan, grant, guarantee, technical assistance, advisory services, equity and fund.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 200.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Loan Amount (USD)
$ 200.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ IFC website

Updated in EWS Nov 30, 2023

Disclosed by Bank Oct 6, 2022

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Project Description
If provided by the financial institution, the Early Warning System Team writes a short summary describing the purported development objective of the project and project components. Review the complete project documentation for a detailed description.

According to the Bank´s website, The Sal de Vida Project (the “Project” or “SDV”) consists of the construction and operation of a greenfield Lithium mine in the Salar del Hombre Muerto (the “Salar”), a salt pan located in the Catamarca Province in the Argentinian Andes at 4,100 meters above sea level and approximately 90 km from Antofagasta de la Sierra. Allkem Limited, a new company formed by the merger of Galaxy Resources and Orocobre (the “Company) is the fifth-largest Lithium producer globally and has acquired 31 concessions with its associated mining rights spanning a total of 263 km² in the Salar, which has an extension of 590 km2 in an endorheic (closed) basin of near 4,000 km2.The Salar (Argentina’s second largest) is located in a dry Puna, an ecoregion characterized by grassy vegetation and shrubland steppe with less than 300 millimetres of precipitation per year, low temperatures, and high solar radiation. Vegetation is represented by sparse grasslands, low scrub and extensive barren lands. The project is located within the Salar del Hombre Muerto Key Biodiversity Area (KBA), which is also an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). Wildlife characteristic of this ecoregion include large mammals and birds such as the vicuña, puma, Andean cat, Andean fox, and three species of flamingo. Endemic plant and animal species are also present. The closest settlement, of approximately 30 total inhabitants, is Cie´naga Redonda located 5 km from the Project site. Main access to the site is via Catamarca’s Provincial Route #43. In addition, there are sixteen dispersed rural dwellings or hamlets (puestos) in a radius of around 50 km. Between the dwellings and Ciénaga Redonda the approximate total population is 80. Other population centers (Antofalla, El Peñón) are located at distances greater than 150 km from the Project. The entire population of the Antofagasta de la Sierra Department in the Catamarca Province where the Project is located is 1,684.SDV will extract brine from a deep aquifer at depths between 200 and 300 meters though submersible pumps located in 8 wells. Most of Project activities are developed on the Salar itself, with limited impact to natural soils as part of Lithium mining activities. The process is mainly based on natural evaporation. The process area will be on the alluvial plain on the east side of the Rio Los Patos. The main components of the Project include a wellfield and brine distribution system, solar evaporation halite and muriate ponds, liming and primary Lithium Carbonate (LCE) production plant, salt discard stockpiles and ancillary infrastructure (camp, admin and support buildings). All process facilities will be located within Allkem tenements in the south-eastern sector of the Salar. The estimated production rate is 15 Ktonnes per annum (ktpa) of LCE for approximately 40 years, producing approximately 600,000 tonnes of product which will be trucked to the ports of Antofagasta in Chile or to the ports in Rosario or Buenos Aires in Argentina, to export to European and US markets as a key component for electric vehicles. SDV has successfully completed piloting and test-works that show that extracted brine readily upgrades to battery grade Lithium Carbonate. The Project has recently moved into early works and targets first production by the last quarter of 2023. Allkem has issued an engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) contract with Worley Parsons for the evaporation ponds and Project infrastructure and is in the process of securing a specialized EPC Contractor for the Lithium Carbonate plant.  IFC’s proposed investment will comprise of a direct loan of US$100 million and B loans of up to US$100 million. The proceeds will be used towards developing the 15 ktpa LCE Project. 

Investment Description
Here you can find a list of individual development financial institutions that finance the project.

The Project cost includes a project capex of $271 million, financing related contingencies, owner’s cost, working capital (VAT) and other financing expenses, and will be financed by a combination of debt and equity.

IFC's proposed investment consists of a financing package of up to $200 million that includes an IFC A loan of up to $100 million and mobilization from commercial banks of up to $100 million. The tenor of the IFC A loan will be up to 9 years. Allkem is working with IFC to potentially include sustainability linked features in the financing structure.

Private Actor 1 Private Actor 1 Role Private Actor 1 Sector Relation Private Actor 2 Private Actor 2 Role Private Actor 2 Sector
- - - - Galaxy Lithium Sal de Vida S.A Undisclosed -

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