Neo Lithium Corp (CVE:NLC) (OTCQX:NTTHF) said Thursday that its lithium carbonate pilot plant has arrived in Argentina from Chile and will be operational in late February at its flagship Tres Quebradas (3Q) lithium brine project in Catamarca Province, Argentina.
The plant, which was built at the Instituto de Investigaciones Tecnologicas at the Universidad de Concepcion in Chile, is now being reassembled by Neo Lithium’s team of engineers.
READ: Neo Lithium eyeing operations at new pilot plant; starts drilling in high-grade zone at 3Q property
The plant is going to start using brine from the 3Q project, concentrated approximately to 4% lithium from pilot evaporation ponds, to kick off pilot scale production of lithium carbonate at the plant.
As it stands, the projected yearly capacity of the pilot ponds is over 500 tonnes of about 4% lithium brine per year. The plant, meanwhile, has a capacity of 50 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year.
In other news, Neo Lithium has also received approval and renewal from the environmental authorities in the Argentine province of Catamarca for the 3Q project's exploration and development program.
This renewal will allow for further drilling and production and monitoring wells as well as the expansion and fine tuning of the pond system in the 3Q project. Neo Lithium is also planning to build more warehouses and infrastructure at the camp, pilot ponds and the plant.
Environmental regulation in Argentina requires that environmental licenses are updated and renewed every two years. This process continues over the life of the project and allows neo Lithium to keep regulators updated on any changes from the original program planned for the next two years.
“We continue to de-risk our operations and show strong commitment to develop the 3Q project,” said Waldo Perez, CEO of Neo Lithium. “We are fortunate to work with the Province of Catamarca and its very professional process, which is based on their strict regulatory system and decades of experience with large-scale mines.”
The company’s environmental impact assessment report to build the mine is set to be presented to the Argentine authorities soon. This is the final environmental approval required for a potential construction of a commercial-scale mine.
Neo Lithium’s 3Q project is located in the Argentine province of Catamarca, the largest lithium-producing area in Argentina.
NeoLithium shares slipped 4.84% to hit C$0.59 on Wednesday.
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