Argosy Minerals Limited (ASX:AGY) has achieved a significant milestone for its Rincon Lithium Project in Argentina by producing the first batch of lithium carbonate (LCE) from the stage 1 industrial scale pilot plant.
A sample of the first one-kilogram production batch was tested in Argosy’ lab and was determined to be a good quality industrial grade LCE.
Progressing stage 1 LCE product off-take agreements
Argosy is progressing with a major international group on the stage 1 LCE product off-take agreement.
The product quality and process test-works completed to date provides confirmation for Argosy to produce a consistent product that meets customer requirements.
The company will continue processing works to prepare these customer samples for their own quality confirmation and testing, and then for subsequent initial commercial sales.
Argosy managing director Jerko Zuvela said: “We are delighted at this significant milestone, noting the historical magnitude of this achievement and the fast-track strategy the company deployed to attain this landmark development.
“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.”
Upgrading the LCE to battery-grade
Importantly, key deleterious elements for battery grade in the test batch such as magnesium, sulphate and metallic impurities were within acceptable specification ranges.
The key issue determining the tested batch to be industrial grade vs. battery grade was the presence of certain soluble impurities.
These would usually be removed by the ‘washing’ stage but that stage is not yet fully functional in the plant because the stage prior requires a high heat, and Argosy is still awaiting a natural gas supply for the plant to provide such temperature.
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.
JORC resource estimation work nearing completion
Argosy is nearing completion of the resource estimation works for the Rincon Lithium Project and is progressing on preparing the Preliminary Economic Assessment.