Neo Lithium (TSXV: NLC) announced on Tuesday that it has “significantly” improved the purity level of the battery-grade lithium carbonate produced at its pilot plant in Fiambalá, using concentrate extracted from the company’s Tres Quebradas project (3Q) in Catamarca province, Argentina.
The pilot plant, which resumed work in late Q4 2020 following a covid-19 related shutdown, is producing lithium carbonate with a purity of 99.797%, representing the highest purity level attained so far. Previously, the highest purity level was 99.599%.
The quality and purity of its lithium carbonate are already meeting worldwide premium specifications and very close to CATL’s high standards of product quality, the company said.
The current lithium carbonate batch is the 13th since the pilot plant started operations in May 2019. Due to the pandemic, Neo has stored approximately 50 tonnes of concentrated brine ready to be processed at the plant.
The company said it will continue to test batches to optimize the process for the definitive feasibility Study (DFS) before turning the plant into continuous mode in Q2/Q3 2021. On continuous mode, the plant can produce up to 40 tonnes a year, Neo added.
Shares of Neo Lithium surged to a 52-week high of C$3.49 on Tuesday. The stock was up 9.3% by 12:10 p.m. EST and 55.7% year-to-date. The company has a $388 million market capitalization.