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Argosy Minerals (ASX:AGY) suspends operations at Rincon Lithium Project
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  • Argosy Minerals (AGY) has nearly completed its environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Rincon Lithium Project
  • Regulatory approval for the EIA is the final requirement to allow the development and construction of a 10,000-tonne-per-annum commercial-scale facility
  • Argosy has completed all but one section of the report — with only the 'Communication Plan and Community Participation' sub-section remaining
  • This section requires in-person consultation with local communities, a process which has been stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Instead of delaying proceedings, Argosy has instead engaged with authorities to go ahead with assessing the rest of the report while the final section is completed
  • The process is expected to conclude in the first quarter next year
  • Argosy Minerals is up 1.59 per cent, trading for 6.4 cents

Argosy Minerals (AGY) has nearly completed its environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Rincon Lithium Project.

COVID shortcut

Regulatory approval for the EIA is the final requirement to allow development and construction of a 10,000-tonne-per-annum commercial-scale facility at the Argentinian project.

In consultation with an EIA specialist, Argosy has completed all but one section of the report — with only the 'Communication Plan and Community Participation' sub-section remaining to check off.

This section requires in-person consultation with local communities, a process which has been stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local company staff had arranged with the Mining Secretary’s department to complete the requirements via virtual on-line interviews, but technological constraints of participants put up roadblocks to the process.

Instead of delaying proceedings, Argosy has instead engaged with authorities to go ahead with assessing the rest of the report while the final section is completed.

That way, the local community interviews can be conducted separately and safely over time and submitted before the EIA undergoes final assessment.

In the meantime, the initial regulatory feedback process can start, essentially providing a shortcut around the COVID-19 pandemic hurdles.

Argosy Managing Director Jerko Zuvela says the company is edging closer to approval at Rincon despite pandemic challenges.

"Given the unprecedented conditions encountered during the year, we are pleased to have completed the majority of works to enable the Company to submit the EIA report," Jerko said.

"This is another significant milestone, which together with Argosy’s status as an international battery quality lithium carbonate producer and exporter, bodes well for progress toward full development of our Rincon Lithium Project," he said.

Outlook

Argosy has confirmed it has all the necessary approvals in place to start the development and construction of the 2000-tonne-per-annum modular lithium carbonate processing plant and all associated operations at the project.

Once that operation is up and running, the proposed scale-up to the commercial 10,000-tonne-per-annum facility is an immediate priority for the company once approvals are met.

With the EIA pre-assessment and community consultation process on track to complete in the first quarter of 2021, Argosy is taking strides towards commercial lithium carbonate production at Rincon.

Argosy Minerals is up 1.59 per cent, trading for 6.4 cents at 10:33 am AEDT.

AGY by the numbers
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