Rio Tinto Technical Services:  Conceptual and Feasibility Assessment

AAI has completed studies leading to prefeasibility and feasibility level mine plans for solution mining the Potassio Rio Colorado potash deposits in Mendoza Provence, Argentina (now Vale). These deposits have long been known and were drilled in the late 1980s, early 1990s, and again in 2005. A pilot test was conducted in the early 1990s and again after Rio Tinto acquired the property in 2004. AAI has supported Rio Tinto’s evaluation of the property assisting in development and evaluation of the pilot test, completing thermo-mechanical tests on core, evaluating cavern and pillar dimensions, and designing the well-field layout. In addition, AAI has completed assessments of potential subsidence to support permitting efforts and participated in management evaluations of the property serving as the in-house expert on solution mining.  AAI certified the resource and reserve estimates as a Competent Person per the requirements of the JORQ code.

Rio Tinto Technical Services commissioned AAI to analyze subsidence potential from planned solution mining of its Potasio Rio Colorado Project in Argentina for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) as well as prefeasibility through feasibility studies. The impact of subsidence were predicted using 2- and 3-Dimensional Finite Difference codes (FLAC) as well as Influence Function code (BASIN). Long-term predictive subsidence was analyzed for solution mine plans using the influence function method during primary and secondary mining. Hundreds of underground caverns were analyzed for subsidence potential at the Potassio Rio Colorado Project site. The effect of subsidence on well casings were also analyzed using FLAC3D.

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