Catamarca province’s Mines Minister has granted Galan Lithium (ASX: GLN) the full Phase 1 construction permits for its flagship Argentine project, Hombre Muerto West (HMW).
The permits cover development of evaporation ponds, the plant, onsite laboratory, a 200-man camp and other required infrastructure.
Six additional production wells have also been approved. Galan Lithium describes HMW as “the highest grade, lowest impurity lithium brine deposit in Argentina”.
Lithium chloride production still on schedule The company says that Phase 1 preparation works, engineering and long lead orders are on track for delivering lithium chloride in the first half of 2025.
The appointment of the main contractor is imminent, and full Phase 1 pond construction will begin within two weeks.
Managing director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said the granting of the permits is a major development in the history of Galan.
“We are proud to be sharing this moment with the government of Catamarca province,” he added
Mr Vargas de la Vega said it is a major step toward the production of a premium quality lithium chloride production from HMW.
“The government and its officials have been on the journey from the start and have always acted very professionally through the whole approval process.”
Phase 2 DFS out next month The HMW Phase 1 definitive feasibility study projected annual production of 5,367 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent — contained in a concentrated lithium chloride product — for a period of 40 years.
“The Phase 1 DFS results and analysis provided solid outcomes that showed [that] the HMW project was very competitive and highly compelling project in the lithium brine industry,” says Galan.
Phase 1 focuses on the production of lithium chloride concentrate.
The Phase 2 DFS, due for release next month, will address full scale production of 20,000 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate.
The capital cost of Phase 1 has been set at US$118.4 million with an average operating cost of US$3,963 per tonne.
Galan estimates that the average lithium chloride selling price over 2025 to 2064 will be US$20,252/tonne.