Emerging lithium miner Argosy Minerals (ASX: AGY) has reported its much-awaited maiden resource for its Rincon lithium brine project in Argentina.
The maiden resource estimate includes 207,957t of contained lithium carbonate equivalent, which was calculated from an eight-hole drilling campaign.
“We are confident the resource estimate will support our project production targets that we expect to report within our preliminary economic assessment, and together with additional drilling works will also enable future upgrades to the maiden JORC mineral resource,” Argosy managing director Jerko Zuvela said.
The weighted average lithium concentrations were between 324 milligrams per litre and 369mg/L, with a maximum concentrate of 490mg/L identified.
Specific yield varied from 1% to 13.2% with the black sand from unit S3C providing the highest percentage.
According to Argosy, the resource and brine aquifer remain open at depth, which the company hopes will underpin further resource upgrades.
The next exploration stage will involve Argosy testing the brine aquifers further to expand the resource. This will include deep bore pumping tests, as well as shallow exploration involving test bores and more pumping trials.
Lithium carbonate equivalent
Today’s news follows the company’s first reported batch of lithium carbonate equivalent earlier this month.
The initial 1kg sample was tested at Argosy’s lab and determined to be “a good quality industrial grade lithium carbonate equivalent”.
Key contaminants were also kept within acceptable ranges. However, soluble impurities were unable to be eliminated because the washing process in the plant was not fully functional due to limited gas supplies.
Argosy reported the gas supplies were switched on yesterday, which it anticipates will now allow it to realise its stage one milestone.
The sample is due to be sent to third parties for independent analysis.
Stage one pilot plant
Once teething issues have been ironed out, Argosy hopes to produce up to 500t a year of lithium carbonate equivalent from its stage one pilot plant.
First shipments of the lithium carbonate equivalent were initially planned to be sent to offtake parties for evaluation in late April and May.
Argosy holds a 77.5% interest in Rincon and hopes to secure 90% after completing its phased earn-in which involves a three-stage development.
Work on the stage two evaporation ponds began in March and are scheduled to be complete for the region’s next summer.
When complete, Argosy will have 34 hectares of lithium brine evaporation ponds in operation.