Australian explorer Argosy Minerals has released an update on its in-development Rincon lithium project in Salta Province, Argentina, with a JORC resource estimate targeted for release in the next two to three weeks.
The project is progressing through stage one development of an industrial-scale pilot plant, with current test works expected to deliver lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) product by the end of May.
The test works involve the tweaking of a number of chemical reaction stages by removing deleterious elements in order to ensure the battery-grade LCE product production pathway is accurate and stable, a time-consuming and intricate process.
Argosy’s milestone for completion of stage one is the realisation of a “scalable, cost-effective chemical process solution to produce consistent battery-grade LCE product for all development stages,” according to a company statement.
Remaining lab results from the Argosy team’s eight-hole drill program are expected this week and will be announced prior to calculation of a maiden JORC estimate for the project.
“The company is hastened to deliver on our key stage one objective of producing battery-grade LCE product, and recognise the minor delay in achieving this significant milestone,” explained Argosy managing director Jerko Zuvela.
“Considering the industrial scale and transformational nature of such an achievement, I feel it is imperative to ensure these works are conducted in a methodical and meticulous process, and I hope our shareholders recognise this, noting the major advances made on the Rincon project to date.
“The processing works are highly technical and critical to ensure ultimate success, as the stage one flow sheet will be ‘scaled up’ for later stages. Therefore, it is imperative that we demonstrate the right product quality on a scalable and cost competitive basis.”
Argosy has also advanced preliminary offtake agreements for stage one product wth potential battery and cathode industry participants.
The Rincon lithium project comprises 2572 hectares within the prospective Salar del Rincon, part of the “lithium triangle” that covers parts of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
Argosy holds a 77.5 per cent interest in the Puna Mining joint venture (JV), which owns the project, with the option to increase to 90 per cent upon funding of stage three development.