In an address to the company's AGM, managing director Jerko Zuvela highlighted milestones achieved by the company during the COVID-19 pandemic and reporting period to date as the company delivers on its fast-track lithium development strategy.
Zuvela said while 2020 had been a challenging period for the company and for the lithium sector, Argosy joined an exclusive list of international exporters of high-quality >99.5% lithium carbonate product with a milestone first shipment from the Rincon Project in Argentina.
“This is a momentous accomplishment that has not been achieved by any other company other than the four major LCE producers in Chile and Argentina, noting that some of our development peers are large multi-national companies such as Posco, Eramet and Sentient, who have been developing their projects for well over 10 years and not achieved the success we have.”
First shipment of high-quality >99.5% lithium carbonate product.
Other milestones achieved during the reporting period include:
- The Sales and Purchase Agreement executed with Mitsubishi Corporation RtM Japan Ltd;
- Having received permitting approvals from Salta Province regulatory authorities for the construction of an initial 2,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) commercial lithium carbonate processing plant module – as part of the staged scale-up development of the Rincon Lithium Project;
- Executing a non-binding Heads of Agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation RtM Japan Ltd for the supply of 2,000tpa of lithium carbonate product for a term of 3-years with an option to extend for a further 2-years;
- Having undertaken high purity lithium hydroxide (LiOH) processing works producing 56.84% LiOH content value (that corresponds to a purity of 99.61% lithium hydroxide monohydrate);
- Regulatory approval and permit applications works continuing for enlarged commercial scale (~10,000tpa) project development; successfully proving the chemical process technology to enable similar exceptional product quality results in both the 2,000tpa operation and scaled up ~10,000tpa plant operation;
- Continued progress with Asian and European LCE end-users and strategic parties for potential commercial-scale offtake and investment;
- Purchased the Tonopah Lithium Project in Nevada, USA. The project lies ~4 kilometres from Albemarle’s Silver Peak lithium brine operation – only lithium carbonate producer in USA; and
- Added many new shareholders.
Milestones prove long-term sustainability
Zuvela said Argosy remained confident that these completed milestones and achievements would prove successful to demonstrate the long-term sustainability and enable progress toward commercial-scale development at the Rincon Lithium Project.
“Once we get past the worst of the current pandemic, we see very positive signs emerging for the EV/ battery/lithium industries, and with supply chains gaining greater global recognition for their clean/green attributes, we are confident in our strategy and ability to continue project development, especially given the promising longer-term market fundamentals.”
He continued by outlining key objectives for the remainder of the year such as implementing a funding solution and begin construction works for the 2,000tpa processing plant, recommencing lithium carbonate product operations from the industrial scale pilot plant and seeking approvals for the development of the 10,000tpa commercial-scale operation.
Zuvela also underlined formulating a development strategy and work program for the Tonopah Lithium Project in Nevada, USA, as a key priority.