LPI, as one of the first ASX listed pure-play lithium companies, has assets diversified across both lithium brine in South America and lithium hard-rock in Western Australia. The Company has made significant advancements in the past year, particularly with our Maricunga Joint Venture (MJV) Agreement completed in January 2017. For this reason, the Company has chosen to focus on the development of the Maricunga lithium brine project, with the impetus that high-grade lithium brine projects will sit on the bottom of the global lithium cost curve, which will ultimately maximize value and return for our shareholders.
LPI has met every expectation and delivered on key milestones to ensure the acceleration of the Maricunga project. In addition to the A$8M raised in the IPO in June 2016, the Company has contributed substantial funds towards the MJV via two further capital raisings of A$13.5M in November 2016 and A$12M in April 2017. The funds enabled LPI to fast-track its highly successful exploration program, resulting in the release of the JORC compliant mineral resource estimate in July 2017.
The updated resource estimate has given the Maricunga lithium project both scale and global significance. The resource now stands under two internationally recognized standards, JORC and NI 43-101, at 2.15 Mt of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and 5.7 Mt of potassium chloride (KCI).
Maricunga's lithium concentrate grade of 1,160 mg/l is classified as the 2nd highest grade lithium brine deposit in South America. The current resource has the potential for a multi-decade mine life, with further potential for a multi-decade mine life in the exploration target.
In parallel, we continue to work towards the completion of the pre-feasibility study (PFS) in December 2017 and the submission of the environmental impact assessment baseline study (EIA) early in 2018.
The Company and its Joint Venture partners have formed a strong working relationship, and we expect the Joint Venture to continue to positively contribute to the development of the Maricunga project.
Given our strategic focus on the MJV, LPI has decided to divest itself of the Argentine lithium brine asset. A Term Sheet for the sale of the Company's Centenario project in Salta, Argentina has been agreed upon, subject to long form documents and final due diligence, with completion anticipated by the end of November 2017.
The Board has continued to strengthen with the appointment of Mr Russell C Barwick as a Non-Executive Director in April 2017, a mining engineer and former CEO of Newcrest and COO with GoldCorp. I also had the privilege of joining the Board as the Chairman of LPI in February 2017, with my background as a founder and former Chairman of Atlas Iron. LPI will continue to put the right people in the right place at the right time as the Company advances.
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About Lithium Power International Ltd
Lithium Power International Limited (ASX:LPI) (FRA:24L) is a pure-play lithium explorer and developer, focusing on developing and fast-tracking to production the high-grade Maricunga lithium brine project in Chile.
LPI has a well known performing technical team with the experience to take the Maricunga project all the way through the development stages to production.
The regions that LPI is currently focussed on are:
1. Maricunga JV (Chile) – On 13th September 2016, Lithium Power announced the creation of a new JV to develop the world-class Maricunga lithium brine deposit in northern Chile.
2. Pilbara (Western Australia) – LPI has one granted exploration tenement and two pending exploration applications covering 203km2 in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia. The largest granted exploration tenement is at Pilgangoora-Houston Creek is 2-3km west of the Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Altura Mining (ASX:AJM) lithium deposits.
3. Greenbushes (Western Australia) – LPI has two granted exploration tenements covering 400km2 in the Greenbushes area of southern Western Australia. The tenements are adjacent to the world’s largest hard rock lithium mine owned & operated by Tianqi/Talison.
4. Centenario (Argentina) –Through its Argentinian subsidiary, Lithium Power holds a total of 6 granted tenements in the Centenario lithium brine salar within the Salta province of the Puna Plateau. In total, the 6 granted tenements cover an area of 61.52km2. In addition, there is 1 further tenement in the grant review stage.
With the exception of the Maricunga JV, all tenements are 100% owned by LPI or LPSA (including rights to the Centenario tenement which is the subject of review by the Argentinian mining authorities).
Lithium Power International Ltd