Mining and environmental authorities of the Province of Catamarca in Argentina have approved Neo Lithium's environmental report and work programme for its Tres Quebradas (3Q) project.
Approval allows the company to move into the exploration phase, build and operate pilot evaporation ponds, as well as necessary laboratories, permanent and semi-permanent camps.
Furthermore, it will be able to complete its 2016-2017 drill programme, and additional exploration and development work at the project, which covers 30,000ha.
Neo Lithium already started process studies including analytical work, evaporation studies, solvent extraction and phase equilibrium studies on the 3Q lithium brine in a bid to define the project’s process flow sheet.
The University of Antofagasta and University of Concepcion in Chile are carrying out studies for brine processing.
With approval now in place, Neo Lithium has mobilised construction crews and technical staff, as well as selected road and drill contractors, in addition to starting road winterisation.
The camp has already been built off-site and is planned to be shipped to the 3Q project once road work concludes. The road and camp are expected to be operational by the end of October.
Neo Lithium CEO Waldo Perez said: "I would like to express our utmost gratitude to the mining and environmental authorities of the Province of Catamarca for fast-tracking the environmental permit and their professionalism during the process, which marks an important milestone as we quickly embark on the exploration of our 3Q project.
"At the forefront of our leading technical team's mission is to develop the 3Q Project with the highest of industry standards."