NI 43-101: Summary
May 2012, Li3 reported the completion of the NI 43-101 Compliant Measured Report that summarizes and validates the results of Li3's $8 million Phase One Exploration and Development Program on its Maricunga Project in Chile, completed in December 2011. The report was authored Mr. Don Hains, P.Geo and Frederik Reidel, CPG, both "Qualified Persons" (QPs), who are independent of Li3 as such terms are defined by Canadian Instrument NI 43-101. While Li3 is not a Canada-listed issuer, among other things, the provisions of Li3's agreement with POSCO Canada refers to the Canadian standards for certain milestones.
The key highlights of the Compliant Measured Report include:
- Further exploration work and expenditures are warranted to advance the Maricunga Project to the Feasibility Stage;
- The property holds significant potential for development as a source of lithium, potassium and boron;
- Exploration work indicates that the brines in the property are enriched in lithium and potassium and that the brine has a Mg/Li ratio permitting lithium recovery;
- Lithium and potassium in situ resources are summarized below:
- Canadian Institute of Mining definitions were followed for Mineral Resources.
- The Qualified Persons for this Mineral Resource estimate are Donald H. Hains, P. Geo and Frederik Reidel, CPG.
- No cut-off values have been applied to the resource estimate
- Numbers may not add due to rounding.
- Expressed as compounds resources are estimated at:
- It is believed that through the application of proprietary technology developed by Li3's strategic partners, lithium recovery from the Maricunga brine can be significantly enhanced and may increase from the typical 45% to over 70% of the contained lithium in the recovered brine:
The analysis of brine chemistry and laboratory testing at the University of Antofagasta indicates that lithium carbonate and potash can be economically recovered utilizing conventional technology. Li3 believes that using conventional production methods (50%), the company would achieve 300,000 tons of Recoverable Lithium Carbonate sufficient for a 20-year mine life at a rate of 15,000 tons per year of Lithium Carbonate production. A process flow-sheet has been developed for this conventional technology as Li3's "base case" process by Process and Environmental Consultancy of La Serna, Chile. The extraction yield of the base case process from well brine to lithium carbonate is estimated to be 50%.
An improved process is being developed through the application of proprietary technology from Li3's Strategic Partner POSCO which has the potential to potentially improve the extraction yield from well brine to lithium carbonate to 70%.
The following table presents the potential Recoverable Lithium Carbonate based on the information presented in Table 1.2 and 1.3 of the NI 43-101 Report:
With the NI 43-101 Compliant Measured Report complete, Li3 has begun to implement the necessary development work to advance the Maricunga project into the Feasibility Study stage.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission permits U.S. mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We use certain terms in this press release, such as "measured," "indicated," and "inferred" "resources," which the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit U.S. registered companies from including in their filings with the SEC. U.S. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q which may be secured from us, or accessed from the SEC website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.