Argosy Minerals has reached a major project milestone by producing its first batch of lithium carbonate (LCE) from the Rincon lithium project in the province of Salta, Argentina.
A sample from the company’s first one kilogram production batch, produced at the company’s Stage 1 industrial scale pilot plant, was determined by laboratory testing to be of ‘industrial grade’ quality, falling just short of battery grade quality.
Deleterious elements, such as magnesium, sulphate and other metallic impurities, were within acceptable ranges for battery-grade certification, but the presence of “certain insoluble impurities” stopped the sample from achieving this, something Argosy claims would normally be removed by washing facilities not yet in place at the plant due to a current lack of natural gas supply necessary to achieving the high heats required.
Argosy’s latest company announcement explained that “the plant is physically connected to the local mains gas network but the company is waiting for local bureaucratic approval to switch on the supply to then continue full processing works to produce the battery grade material.”
The company expects that once a steady gas supply is established and process works are conducted, the company will be able to start steady plant operations for Stage 1 sales arrangements.
Jerko Zuvela, managing director of Argosy, said he was “delighted” with the project’s quick progress.
“The momentous effort, technical expertise and knowledge required to achieve this initial milestone is extraordinary, and I thank the whole Puna and Argosy team for their commitment and dedication,” he said.
Argosy announced last month that it expected to release its JORC maiden resource by the end of May, but the figures are yet to be announced.
At the end of May, Argosy did announce that it was purchasing mining tenements (Mina Tincal, Mina Reina and Salonix) at the project that remained under option however, emphasising the company’s commitment to the project.