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Pursuit Minerals’ Acquisition of Lithium Pilot Plant Signals Fast Track to Production

17 August 2023 12:03
ASX: PUR
Screenshot 2023 08 17 At 11.32.49 Am

Pursuit Minerals (ASX:PUR) has concluded the acquisition of a Lithium Carbonate Pilot Plant in Salta, Argentina, enabling the Company to expedite its path towards first production.

A Catalyst for Accelerated Progress

Valued at US$365,000, the newly acquired Lithium Carbonate Pilot Plant carries with it a noteworthy legacy, having historically produced both technical (~99.0% purity) and battery-grade (99.5%+ purity) lithium carbonate.

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Figure 1: Lithium Carbonate Pilot Plant

With a notable track record of achieving a run rate of 750kg/d or 100tpa nameplate capacity, the Plant showcases its potential to make substantial contributions to the Company’s production targets.

Originally constructed in 2013 and purchased by the vendor at a cost of ~$3.6 million, the acquisition includes all plant and equipment in addition to all intellectual property associated with the Plant.

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Figure 2: Pilot Plant during site visit March 2023

Engaging Expertise for Successful Implementation

The Company has enlisted the expertise of Worley, a renowned chemical engineering firm with a proven track record in lithium processing operations. This partnership is instrumental in defining an efficient and scalable chemical process pathway for lithium production, with Worley’s involvement also extending to the expansion and relocation of the Pilot Plant to a specially designed facility in Salta.

The Company’s engagement with Worley includes scope to design a 100 tonnes per annum production operation at the Rio Grande Salar which from preliminary analysis and results would see the construction of approximately 4.7ha of evaporation ponds.

Significantly, Pursuit will stand as only the third lithium carbonate producer listed on the ASX, transitioning beyond lab scale testing into the domain of small-scale production.

From Tenements to Production

Pursuit Minerals’ holds a suite of tenements, collectively known as the Rio Grande Sur Project, covering approximately 9,233 hectares in a lithium-rich region west of Salta, Argentina.

The acquisition of the Lithium Carbonate Pilot Plant accelerates the Company’s transition from exploration to production, with this timing aligning perfectly with the current market demand for lithium carbonate, particularly for applications in lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, which are gaining momentum as a reliable and sustainable energy storage solution.

Relocation for Scalability and Expansion

Pursuit Minerals’ intends to relocate the Pilot Plant to a larger, purpose-built facility in Salta, with this strategic decision enabling the Company to enhance production capabilities and position it for potential future expansions.

Aaron Revelle, Pursuit’s Managing Director & CEO, commented, “With the acquisition of the Pilot Plant, Pursuit Minerals will now advance toward production of lithium carbonate targeting 100 tonnes per annum of continuous production. Pursuit has engaged Worley, a leading chemical engineering firm with significant experience in the development of lithium processing operations to assist in the definition of the chemical process pathway that is efficient and scalable.”

“In addition, Worley’s engagement includes eventual expansion and relocation of the Pilot Plant to site at Rio Grande. Completion of the acquisition of the plant will allow Pursuit to begin immediately advancing towards becoming a small-scale lithium producer, fast tracking production.”

PUR’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price is currently trading at 1.2c (12:00 pm UTC+ 8 hours).

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