Australia-based Galan Lithium has secured full phase 1 construction permits for 5,400 tonnes per annum (tpa) lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) production at the Hombre Muerto West (HMW) lithium brine project in Argentina.

The approval, granted by Catamarca Ministro – Ministerio de Mineria (Mines Department Minister), will allow the lithium exploration and development company to commence the full construction of the Argentine lithium project.

Galan Lithium aims to start lithium chloride production at the Hombre Muerto West project in the first half of 2025.

The permits comprise ponds, a carbonate plant, an onsite laboratory, a 200-man camp, power and other necessary infrastructure, said Galan Lithium.

Besides, the ministry has approved six additional production wells at the lithium brine project.

Galan Lithium managing director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said: “The permits cover the full Phase 1 DFS production rate of 5.4ktpa LCE including full spec ponds design and size plus the carbonate plant using the lithium concentration feed from the existing ponds already built.

“All required infrastructure is also approved, which means it is all systems go to we meet our production target in H1 2025. The Galan team, from top to bottom, has been simply outstanding and this is the most significant milestone in the relatively short history of the HMW Project.”

The definitive feasibility study (DFS) at the Hombre Muerto West project is divided into two phases.

Phase 1 of the DFS focuses on lithium chloride concentrate production as governed by the just approved production permits.

Galan Lithium also said that the optimisation work is underway and phase 2 DFS is scheduled to be released next month.

The phase 2 DFS of the Hombre Muerto West project will address a full 20ktpa LCE production rate.

Located 90km north of the town of Antofagasta de la Sierra, the Argentine lithium brine project includes exploration permits that cover nearly 11,600ha.