Emerging lithium producer Argosy Minerals (ASX: AGY) has intersected more lithium brine from resource drilling at its Rincon project in Argentina’s Salta Province, with contained lithium levels “better than previously anticipated”.
Located within Argentina’s lithium triangle, assays from the latest drill holes have surpassed Argosy’s expectations revealing high lithium content across a thick brine bearing zone.
Contained lithium from drill hole R4 averaged 446 milligrams per litre across eight samples, with a mean magnesium to lithium ratio of 8.2.
Meanwhile, contained lithium in drill hole R3 assayed at 343mg/l from the upper region of the intersection and a magnesium to lithium ratio of 5.8.
In these latest results, intersections were up to 66m thick in the deeper black sand, which remains open at depth.
“Resource drilling has intersected very significant thicknesses of black sand beneath the surface halite layer, which is very positive for our upcoming JORC resource estimate and planned preliminary economic assessment/scoping study,” Argosy managing director Jerko Zuvela said.
He added the higher lithium brine grades were situated near the current stage two evaporation ponds and would suit the company’s “fast-track production strategy”.
To-date, seven holes have been drilled with all terminating in sandy material and remain open at depth.
According to Argosy, the black sand retains high drainable porosity and permeability, which is advantageous for extracting brine and calculating a resource estimate.
The eighth and final diamond drill hole is progressing and has a 200m target depth to help Argosy understand where the black sand material ends.
Results from the first three holes reported in late November contained lithium averaging between 400mg/l and close to 500mg/l.
Once the final eighth hole has been completed and assays known, Argosy plans to publish its maiden JORC-compliant resource estimate for Rincon by the end of the current quarter.
In parallel with its resource drilling, Argosy has commissioned its first stage two evaporation ponds and anticipates producing its first lithium carbonate equivalent early in the June quarter.
As part of the development schedule, more than 10 hectares of lithium brine ponds have now been commissioned with about 23ha of ponds to be developed.
In preparation for creation of the remaining stage two ponds, applications have been submitted and are pending approvals.
Argosy is earning up to a 90% stake in Rincon via the staged earn-in process. The company recently inked a letter of intent with its joint venture partner lithium expert Pablo Alurralde to acquire its 77.5% interest in the joint venture vehicle Puna Mining ahead of schedule.
Additionally, once it completes its acquisition of the adjacent Mina Tincal tenements, Argosy’s total landholding in the lithium triangle will sit at 2,561.9 hectares.
Argosy remains in active negotiations with several parties in the lithium-ion battery sector including exploring offtake and investment arrangements.
Shares in Argosy were up more than 4.4% in early afternoon trade to A$0.36.