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Millennial Lithium submits environmental impact assessment to push Pastos Grandes forward

The firm said it submitted the EIA for construction and operations for its Pastos Grandes project to the Environmental and Mining Authority in Salta province, Argentina
Pastos Grandes brine project
Millennial Lithium's Pastos Grandes brine project is located in Argentina's Salta province

Millennial Lithium Corp (CVE:ML) (OTCQB:MLNLF) said Wednesday it has moved yet another step forward and has filed its environmental impact assessment (EIA) for its Pastos Grandes brine project, located in Argentina.

The firm said it submitted the EIA for construction and operations for its Pastos Grandes project to the Environmental and Mining Authority in Salta province, Argentina. 

The firm noted the EIA was prepared by Ausenco-Vector, a firm that has extensive experience in the preparation of EIAs for the mining industry in compliance with Argentine Federal and Provincial regulations.

READ: Millennial Lithium files report that shows measured and indicated resource at Pastos Grandes nearly doubled

The company said the EIA is based on the potential production scenario of brine extraction via pumping wells, solar pond evaporation and production of up to 25,000 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate from a centralized processing facility.

Its aim is to complete a feasibility study in July 2019, which will examine the detailed economics of possible production from the Pastos Grandes Project.

"We are very pleased to have completed the submission of the EIA to the Environmental and Mining Authority in Salta. We are also pleased with the comprehensive work done by Ausenco in all aspects of the study including project construction. Millennial remains committed to sound and compliant mining practices, high environmental standards and the highest level of active community consultation, involvement and participation in the project," said CEO Farhad Abasov in a statement. 

"This submission continues our permitting process. With continued proactive engagement with the provincial mining agencies we anticipate approval by the end of 2019," he added. 

Impact of project looks positive

The Ausenco EIA report concluded that the impact of the project is overall positive, when considering environmental and socioeconomic factors. 

The consulting company highlighted a few observations, all of which are positively mitigated. These included visual impact and removal of soils for the evaporation ponds. The company noted a portion of the ponds located outside of the salar surface are on elevated terraces with poor to no soil development, posing minimal to no impact on flora and fauna. 

Additionally, water resources were highlighted, noting that fresh-water extraction for the full process stream (not accounting for fresh-water recycling) represents only 1.5% - 4% of the "most conservative scenario for recharge, as calculated in a water balance study, part of the brine flow model, by hydrogeological consultants Montgomery & Associates."

"The overall impact on water levels, including the brine of the resource area itself, has been modeled by Montgomery using ModFlow hydrodynamic numerical modeling software. The brine level draw-down due to pumping as predicted by the model will be monitored through the life of the pumping operations," noted the firm in the release. 

Lastly, the socio-economic impact shows that the project's impact on local communities is overall positive, with improved infrastructure and related services, employment, and opportunities for economic activity.

Shares of Millennial Lithium were up 3.2% at C$1.60 on Wednesday.

Contact Katie Lewis at [email protected]

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