Lithium-focussed Argosy Minerals (ASX: AGY) has upped its ground in Argentina’s Salta Province after collaring a further 209.5 hectares near its flagship Rincon lithium brine project.
Argosy will add the tenements Mina San Jose, Mine Jujuy and Mina San Marcos to its portfolio in the region, bringing its tenement suite to include more than 2,790ha of lithium brine prospective area as well as associated infrastructure.
Under the agreement, Argosy will pay the vendors a combined purchase fee of US$538,702 after it completes due diligence and regulatory requirements.
“These strategic and highly prospective tenements provide increased scale for future potential commercial operations, which will be highlighted by the long-term mine-life estimates currently being prepared as part of the PEA (preliminary economic assessment) works,” Argosy managing director Jerko Zuvela said.
According to Argosy, the new tenements adjoin the company’s Mina Tincal licence and will be incorporated into the Rincon project where lithium brine operations are already underway.
With these latest tenements, Argosy anticipates it will finalise its JORC mineral resource and preliminary economic assessments for the project.
Rincon lithium-brine operation
Earlier this year, Argosy produced its first battery-grade lithium carbonate equivalent from its stage one 500tpa pilot plant at Rincon, with product purity ranging between 99.6% and 99.8% lithium.
To-date about 500kg of lithium carbonate equivalent has been produced to be sent to cathode and battery manufacturers for evaluation.
Argosy hopes to lock-in a stage one lithium carbonate offtake agreement before the end of the year, with negotiations continuing with end-users.
The company is advancing stage two at the project with construction of the remaining 24ha of lithium brine evaporation ponds expected to be finalised in the December quarter.
Argosy owns 77.5% of Rincon, which has a maiden inferred resource of 207,975t of lithium carbonate equivalent. A resource upgrade is also planned to be released before the end of the year.
The news spurred Argosy’s share price up almost 5% to reach $0.215 in early morning trade.