Lithium Power (LPI) is a pure-play lithium company focused on the development of Chile’s next high-grade lithium mine. The Maricunga JV, in which LPI holds a 51% 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.
On February 19th, 2018 LPI announced the production of its first lithium carbonate sample from the Maricunga brine project. The sample has a purity of 99.4% lithium carbonate, consistent with battery grade Lithium Carbonate production such as by Albemarle and SQM in Chile.
In September 2018, LPI, through its JV Company Minera Salar Blanco (MSB), submitted the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA) for the Maricunga Project to the Chilean Environmental Authority, Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental (SEA). Completion of a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) is expected in 4Q18. Permitting and government approvals are expected by 3Q20, at which time LPI will make a production decision. Project financing is targeted in 2019 and start of construction in 2020. 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 term profitability 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.