The initial ponding facility is designed for an output of approximately 2,500t/y tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE). The permits allow for the construction of brine collection, pumping, piping and ponding facilities consisting of 62.6ha of lined ponds, designed to produce a high-purity 5% lithium concentrate, at the company’s flagship Sal de los Angeles project (SDLA) in Argentina.
The JV ponding facility will cover a maximum of 100ha (approximately 1%) of the 8,156ha that comprise the Sal de los Angeles property. Construction activities will begin immediately. The project has not been the subject of a feasibility study and there is no guarantee the facility will successfully produce a commercial product on a profitable basis or at all.
Paul Matysek, executive chairman at Lithium X, said: “This is a key milestone for our company and will certainly strengthen and differentiate our status in a very crowded lithium sector. We look forward to working closely with the local authorities and workforce in developing sustainable environmental, work and social programmes to ensure we develop the facility in harmony with the Puna region.”
Brian Paes-Braga, CEO of Lithium X, commented: “The receipt of construction permits for our facility is a major landmark for Lithium X and our joint venture with SESA. We are on the cusp of obtaining our first 5% lithium concentrate from our pilot pools on site. This is a high purity brine concentrate that could serve as feed to existing or new battery grade lithium carbonate and/or lithium hydroxide plants. We have already been approached by several end users of the expected concentrate and look forward to initiate testing with downstream partners.”