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GEOLOGY AND GEOCHEMISTRY OF LITHIUM IN PERU

In the last few years, lithium like no other strategic raw material has become the focus of attention of electro-cars and energy companies from developed countries. This high demand can be explained mainly by the exceptional importance of lithium in energy storage. Although used as carbonate and hydroxide in modern batteries, it is neither the value nor the quantity of the decisive component, and currently there are almost no other alternative technologies. In particular, the high energy density, which is achieved through the use of lithium, makes metal, today and in the future, an important element of energy and mobility change.

Because lithium explorations in Peru have been initiated and important occurrences are known in the rhyolitic tuffs in the Puno region (up to 3000 ppm lithium), existing geochemical information (>10,000 samples) has been compiled from various sources to know the current status of the main concentrations of lithium in felsic rocks (granites and rhyolites) in the Peruvian territory. The spatial and temporal distribution of lithium concentrations shows that values greater than 300 ppm are found in felsic rocks: Oligocene-Miocene rhyolites and Triassic monzogranites in the backarc, also in nepheline syenites dykes (30-100 ppm), they are located to the western margin of the Sn, W, Mo belt and the highest values (greater than 600 ppm) correspond to the Puno region. However, reworked tuffs layers on the altiplano that were emitted by the volcanic calderas from the backarc and sediments that flow into Titicaca Lake have concentrations between 100 and 400 ppm of Lithium. In addition, the thermal springs of Tacna and Moquegua contain between 10 and 50 ppm of Li, indicating that beneath the recent volcanoes there are sediments with Li. 

Finally, the highest potential of Lithium (3000 ppm) is related to minerals called macusanites.


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