Weeks after producing its first battery grade lithium carbonate, Argosy Minerals (ASX: AGY) reported it has begun pumping lithium brine into its additional stage two 9-hectare pond at its Rincon lithium project in Argentina.
The additional 9ha pond adds to the exiting 10ha of operational evaporation ponds that were constructed under stage two, bringing operational lithium brine evaporation ponds to 19ha at the site.
Once the stage two pond construction work has been completed, Argosy expects it will have 36ha of operational lithium evaporation ponds to concentrate lithium brine for use in the company’s stage one pilot plant and, eventually, the stage two processing plant.
“Argosy continues its rapid progress and aggressive development strategy, confirming the company’s commitment to scaling the project to the next commercial stages,” Argosy managing director Jerko Zuvela said.
“Our early-mover proof of concept and fast-track production strategy is realising enormous interest and potential long-term benefits for the company given the strong demand in the international market place, as we continue building a sustainable batter grade lithium production company,” he added.
First lithium carbonate equivalent produced
Earlier this month, Argosy reported it had generated its first battery grade lithium carbonate equivalent grading 99.6% from its stage one 500 tonne per annum pilot plant.
The pilot plant produced 30kg of product, which will be sent to several cathode and battery manufacturers for evaluation.
Argosy plans to expand the plant’s capacity to 1,500tpa under stage two works before reaching full commercial capacity under stage three.
Rincon lithium brine project
Argosy’s 77.5%-owned Rincon is located within Argentina’s renowned lithium triangle and comprises 2,572ha of lithium brine prospective land and infrastructure.
In late June, the company debuted a maiden inferred resource for the project of 207,975t of continued lithium carbonate equivalent from eight diamond drill holes.
The brine aquifer remains open at depth, with Argosy claiming it has the potential for “expansion” with added drilling.
Before the end of the current quarter, Argosy hopes to publish a resource upgrade as well as locking-in an offtake agreement and completing the remaining stage two evaporation ponds.
Work on the stage two plant is also expected to begin in the current quarter.
Shares in Argosy dipped 1% to reach $0.252 in mid-morning trade.