Battery minerals company Lithium Energy has secured an environmental impact assessment (EIA) approval from the Jujuy Provincial Government Mining Authority to begin exploration works at its Solaroz lithium brine project in Argentina.

The company has received approval for the Payo tenement, which is the first of eight mineral tenements situated in the Olaroz Salar held by the company.

With the latest approval, Lithium Energy is anticipating to secure approval for the remaining tenements by the end the first quarter this year.

The company has already coordinated with local geophysics and drilling contractors to prepare the commencement of exploration works.

The Payo tenement, which consists of 990ha, is situated at the south-eastern corner of the Olaroz Salar and 7km from the Allkem lithium processing facility.

The firm stated: “Lithium Energy considers that the approval now received for exploration works to commence at the Payo tenement confirms the support of the local Jujuy Government for the advancement of the Solaroz Project.”

The approval enables the company to begin a programme of mapping and geophysics over the Payo tenement to understand the underlying hydrogeological and geochemical characteristics of the brine rich aquifer that includes the Olaroz Salar underneath the Solaroz tenements.

Upon the submission of an initial baseline environmental monitoring plan, the company plans to begin exploration works.

The Solaroz lithium project, which is situated within South America’s Lithium Triangle in North-West Argentina in the Salar de Olaroz basin, consists of 12,000ha of lithium mineral tenement.

The project is also directly adjacent to or principally surrounded by mineral tenements related to Allkem and Lithium Americas.

In October last year, Lithium Energy announced that it is studying the prospects of establishing a manufacturing facility to purify and spheronise graphite sourced from its Burke graphite project in Australia.