Lithium Power (“LPI”) is a pure-play lithium company focused on development of Chile’s next high-grade lithium mine. The Maricunga JV, in which LPI holds a 50% interest, is the highest quality pre-production lithium brine project in South America and has one of the world’s highest-grade lithium resources at 1,160 mg/l lithium and 8,500 mg/l potassium. The 2017 JORC and NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate for the deposit totals 2.15mt LCE & 5.7mt KCl from surface to 200m depth. Significant potential for resource expansion lies in an exploration target of 1.0 – 2.5mt of LCE and 3 – 6.6mt of KCl between 200m and 400m depth. The exploration target has been drilled to 360m and remains lithium enriched and open at depth.
On December 19th, 2017, LPI announced the completion of its +/-25% accuracy Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) by Tier-1 engineering consultancy WorleyParsons, During 4Q17 LPI is targeting the completion of the environmental baseline studies and optimisation of the lithium extraction process. Submission of the environmental impact assessment is targeted for 1Q18 followed by completion of a definitive feasibility study in 2Q18. Permitting and government approvals are expected by 2Q19, at which time LPI will make a production decision. Project financing and start of construction are targeted to follow in 2019. Preliminary results of the PEA indicate that Maricunga will be a low-cost lithium producer with a long mine life.
Lithium demand, driven by its use in automobile applications, is projected to grow 530% by 2030. Development projects to meet future demand growth are limited and new supply coming on stream is slow due to permitting and construction constraints. Fast-tracking the high-grade Maricunga lithium brine project to production will be a key driver in increasing LPI’s future shareholder value. Projected low operating costs are expected to ensure long termprofitability during potential future supply expansion. Success of the Maricunga JV is driven by LPI’s highly experienced and proven board, management and technical team with a history of success in mining, lithium exploration and strategic transactions.