Lithium extraction in the salars of Chile and Argentina

The worldwide demand in Lithium, mostly used for lithium-ion batteries, is exponentially increasing due to replacement of combustion cars with hybrid or full electrical cars. High lithium concentrations were found in the groundwater below salt lakes located within the so-called lithium triangle in the northern Chile and the adjacent regions of Argentina and Bolivia.


A comprehensive characterization of the groundwater flow paths and chemistry prior to the exploitation is essential for a proper estimation of the resources. 
During the production phase groundwater flow and chemistry must be monitored to optimize the operational results and to minimize the ecological impacts at the same time. The requirements to drilling technology and sampling are very high in the salars with poorly consolidated sedimentary rocks.

Solexperts Sampler

Use of Solexperts double packer test systems and sampling equipment

It is important not to mix the water of different groundwater levels to avoid possible precipitation of Lithium at depth.  Solexperts packer systems are used to isolate discrete borehole sections to obtain a depth profile of groundwater flow and chemistry. The systems must be designed to withstand the harsh chemical conditions of the brine.

All mayor lithium production companies of this area apply Solexperts packer systems and the correspondent equipment parts for groundwater sampling and for hydraulic testing starting in 2010. In addition, Solexperts is providing onsite training for a proper equipment handling and the maintenance of the systems.

Michael Kech

Product Manager KVZ

Member of the extended executive board
Manager Hydro Systems / Groundwater monitoring and testing systems / Mining / CO2 sequestration / Marketing / Asia, South America

T +41 (0) 44 806 29 54

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Dr. Thomas Trick

Hydrogeologist UPC

Managing director Solexperts AG and branches /
Manager Solexperts France SARL /
Manager Solexperts GmbH

T +41 (0) 44 806 29 29

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Karam Kontar

Engineering Geologist / Hydrogeologist CHYN

Member of the extended executive board
Division Manager Hydrogeology / Hydrogeological instrumentation and tests / Hydro-tests in shallow and deep boreholes

T +41 (0) 44 806 29 85

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Dr. Nathan Dutler

Geophysist / Hydrogeologist CHYN

Project Manager

T +41 (0) 44 806 29 59

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