Argosy Minerals (ASX: AGY) has officially locked-in its 77.5% stake in its flagship Rincon lithium brine project in Argentina after recently informing shareholders it was upping its interest in the project earlier than planned.
The increased ownership comes after Argosy executed a binding second earn-in agreement with vendors Pablo Alurralde and Francisco Menendez, with the three parties operating the project via joint venture company Puna Mining.
“Completing the move to 77.5% early demonstrates Argosy’s intent, ambition, strategy and its absolute confidence to fully develop the Rincon lithium project,” Argosy managing director Jerko Zuvela said.
He added Argosy was fortunate to be working with its joint venture partners due to their experience in lithium carbonate production and the region.
Argosy will eventually secure a 90% interest in Rincon after it completes stage three development of the project.
Situated in Argentina’s lithium triangle, Rincon has given up better than anticipated drill results as part of Argosy’s resource drilling program.
Drilling to-date has offered up to almost 500 milligrams per litre of lithium, with a maiden JORC-compliant resource estimate due by the end of the current quarter.
Argosy is also rapidly advancing the project with more than 11 hectares of lithium brine ponds commissioned with the remaining 23ha of stage two ponds awaiting approvals.
Solar evaporation is underway at the ponds, with the concentrated brine due to be fed through the 500-tonne per annum pilot plant to produce the project’s first lithium carbonate equivalent in early April.
Unseasonable rainfall doesn’t affect Rincon
At the end of January and early February, various media outlets reported unseasonable “extreme rainfall” for the region, with the Salta Province, where Rincon is situated, categorised as a “critical watch” area.
However, Argosy stated it took the unstable climate conditions into account when developing the project and ensured it built its solar ponds up-hill and above the salt flats and incorporated channels for excess water drainage.
When questioned if there was any flooding or damage from the recent inclement weather, Argosy publicly replied that the project remained on schedule for first lithium carbonate production in April and the weather had not negatively impacted Rincon.
Shares in Argosy had risen more than 3% to A$0.32 by late afternoon trade.