Galan Lithium commences second pond filling at HMW as Phase 1 nears completion

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By Imelda Cotton - 
Galan Lithium ASX GLN Hombre Muerto West HMW pond 2 fill

Galan Lithium (ASX: GLN) has commenced the filling of a second pond at the Hombre Muerto West (HMW) lithium brine project as it nears completion of Phase 1 construction and prepares for the start of production next year.

The company said earthworks and liner installation were 65% complete and construction of a third pond was underway.

Meanwhile, evaporation works at the project’s first pond are continuing and already contain approximately 500 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).

Ten production wells have been completed, although only six are required for Phase 1 activities.

Project phases

Construction permits for Phase 1 were granted in August, while a Phase 2 environmental impact assessment was lodged with the Catamarca government in December.

Phase 1 will focus on the production of 5,400tpa LCE of a lithium chloride concentrate.

Phase 2 will target 21,000tpa LCE by 2026, followed by Phase 3 production of 40,000tpa by 2028 and finally a Phase 4 totalling 60,000tpa by 2030.

Phase 4 of the project will include lithium brine sourced from HMW and the wholly-owned Candelas project in Argentina.

Fresh water usage

Galan said it was confident the Phase 2 permitting process would remain on track with continued support from local communities and government.

The process to produce a high-grade concentrate of 6% lithium or 32% LCE uses very little fresh water and considerably less than the subsequent conversion to lithium carbonate or hydroxide.

This is believed to underpin the low environmental impact of Galan’s chloride strategy.

Water for the project will be sourced directly from in situ wells and not from the local Los Patos river.

Argentina’s next lithium producer

Managing director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said HMW was advancing to plan.

“We are very proud of the solid progress being made by the Phase 1 construction team,” he said.

“We are well on our way towards a long-term production journey for our low-cost, low-risk lithium chloride development strategy.”

“We are confident that our production approach — which includes key tenement acquisitions, permitting, and offtake arrangements — will put Galan in a good place to becoming Argentina’s next lithium producer in 2025.”