Argosy Minerals (ASX: AGY) has advanced on its concurrent Stage 1 and 2 development works at its Rincon Lithium Project – located in the Lithium Triangle in Salta Province, Argentina.
- Upgraded schedule of works will increase Stage 1 plant capacity up to 500tpa of LCE product → first LCE product scheduled during March 2018 Quarter.
- Stage 2 development works continuing → ponds under construction and production well drilling to commence.
Argosy is continuing the initial Stage 2 pond construction works at Rincon, where the first set of the pond excavation works will be completed shortly.
The company will then commence pond lining installation works (using a high density polyethylene product) and conduct production well drilling to extract lithium brine for pumping into the evaporation ponds once fully constructed, to then allow the solar evaporation and brine concentration process – for the first set of Stage 2 ponds – to be in full effect by the end of September.
Further additional ponds have been planned, and pending regulatory permits, are targeted for completion during October. This will result in a combined total of ~10 hectares of newly constructed lithium brine evaporation ponds (yellow shaded area in Figure 1 below).
Combined with the Stage 1 evaporation ponds already constructed – which have been concentrating lithium brine since April – the company will have over 11 hectares of evaporation ponds concentrating lithium brine during the upcoming peak solar evaporation season.
At this scale of evaporation ponds, the company will be able to increase the Stage 1 lab pilot plant capacity up to 500tpa of LCE product, with first lithium carbonate equivalent (“LCE”) product scheduled during the March 2018 Quarter.
Argosy is conducting pre-planning works for the construction of the outstanding Stage 2 evaporation ponds – totalling an additional 24 hectares (green shaded area in Figure 1) – including a works plan and equipment schedule, budget and timing for this work. These works are scheduled to begin pending settlement of the Qianyun transaction and receipt of regulatory approvals.
The company will then make a subsequent announcement, outlining its full Stage 2 development plans, timetable, and production target.
Argosy Managing Director, Jerko Zuvela commented:
“The company continues to perform at a high level, showing our proficiency and expertise to fast-track toward production of LCE product, which will see Argosy as the second ASX-listed lithium producer. We are committed to building a sustainable lithium production Company.”
The company is confident that the Rincon Lithium Project has a clear conceptual pathway to lithium production, with historical results and Mr Alurralde’s previous operating and production experience from the Project area and over the broader Salar del Rincon justifying our fast-track strategy.