Argosy Minerals (ASX: AGY) has produced its first “battery grade” lithium carbonate equivalent product from the stage one pilot plant at its flagship Rincon lithium project in Argentina.
The company today confirmed it has progressed plant works to the stage where it has produced “some 30kg” of the product, which recorded a lithium carbonate content value of 99.6%.
According to Argosy, this value is in line with its initial battery grade specification for delivery to end-user customers.
The milestone comes less than two months after the company announced its maiden resource estimate at the project, which included 207,957 tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent.
Argosy will now prepare customer samples to provide to several international cathode and battery makers for their own quality confirmation and testing.
Pending customer verification of product specification, this initial product is expected to form the basis for the company to progress towards finalising a preliminary offtake deal for the stage one production.
“To achieve such a result from our stage one 1500tpa capacity plant is a remarkable success,” Argosy managing director Jerko Zuvela said.
“We believe our chemical process pathway is efficient and scalable, and the success being announced today bodes well for the continued development of stages two and three at the Rincon lithium project,” he added.
Argosy’s primary focus is on producing consistent battery grade lithium carbonate equivalent product for ongoing operations, while also confirming that the chemical process is efficient, cost-effective and scalable for all stages of development.
The company is aiming to produce up to 500tpa of lithium carbonate equivalent from its stage one pilot plant, then expand to 1500tpa with its stage two development before reaching full commercial operations with stage three.
In its June quarterly report released last month, Argosy said stage two development works were continuing, with an initial 10 hectares of completed stage two evaporation ponds already concentrating lithium brine.
Construction is on track for the remaining 24 hectares of evaporation ponds.
The company also plans to commence development works for its stage two commercial scale processing plant in the current September quarter.
Argosy’s stock jumped 33.33% to A$0.24 by midday trade.