Quarterly Activities Report
- Engineering Consultants WorleyParsons completed the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the Maricunga Lithium Brine Project, which was released on 22 January 2019.
- The DFS presents a possible 100% equity, pre-tax NPV of US$1.286b and an IRR of 23.8%.
- It forecasts a total CAPEX of US$563m, which includes direct development costs estimated at US$456m inclusive of 20% VAT (recoverable once in production), indirect costs of US$45m and contingency costs of US$63m.
- Project operating costs are estimated at US$3,772 per tonne of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE), without offset income from sales of the potassium chloride (KCI) by-product.
- The DFS predicts a very robust project for what is Chile's highest grade and most advanced lithium project outside of the Salar de Atacama. Production would be a high-value battery-grade lithium carbonate, unlike many of the lithium hard rock projects under development.
- The maiden Ore Reserve estimate, prepared in accordance with JORC and NI 43-101 international standards, was released on 21 January 2019. It was a total of 742,000 tonnes of LCE,(see Note below) which exceeds the 20-year project mine life production needs.
- The Maricunga project's EIA successfully passed the initial 45-day assessment period, and the Chilean Government is now carrying out an exhaustive assessment expected to be concluded in 2019.
- Approval was received to take the required 14.6 MW of power from a sub-station at the nearby La Coipa gold mine, including the use of power lines leading to the Maricunga Salar.
- The Company finalised details of the project's water supply, with an important groundwater source located in the east of the Maricunga Salar basin.
- Discussions with major Chilean and international financial institutions to secure project development finance have commenced and are expected to be finalized during 2019. Approaches from international companies have also been received regarding off-take agreements and future participation.
- The Company continues to work closely with the Chilean Government and other corporate bodies to finalize all remaining licenses, agreements and operational relationships.
- In Western Australia, an extensive soil sampling program over the Tabba Tabba property identified a 4.3 km long area of elevated lithium and tantalum, with Li2O values up to 689 ppm. A full development program for the asset is progressing and is expected to be announced by the end of first quarter 2019. An initial exploration drilling program is likely to commence early in Q219, following Western Australia's wet season.
- A large conductive target has been defined in an electromagnetic survey (TEM) at the Centenario project in Argentina. An internal assessment for the next stages of exploration is currently being conducted.
- Mr Cristobal Garcia-Huidobro was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director of the Company on 16 October 2018. This is a natural extension of his role as CEO of the Chilean Joint Venture Company, Minera Salar Blanco S.A.
- Mr Richard Crookes was appointed Executive Director - Corporate Finance on 25 October 2018. He has a key focus to ensure that the Maricunga project is appropriately funded and that key strategic partnerships, including possible off-take agreements, are secured as the project moves into the development phase.
Note: After 58% lithium process recovery efficiency, the total recovered Reserve is 430,000 tonnes LCE (118,000 tonnes Proved - 313,000 Probable).
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About Lithium Power International Ltd
Lithium Power International Limited (ASX:LPI) 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 focused on are:
1. Maricunga JV (Chile) – Located within the "Lithium Triangle", Maricunga is Chile's highest grade and most advanced lithium project outside the Salar de Atacama. The project lies 170 km northeast of Copiapo and 250 km from the port of Caldera.
2. Pilbara (Western Australia) – LPI has three granted exploration tenements covering 203 km2 in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia. The largest granted exploration tenement is the Pilgangoora tenement which is 2-3 km 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 400 km2 in the Greenbushes area of southern Western Australia. The tenements are adjacent to the world's largest hard rock lithium mine owned and operated by Tianqi/Talison.
4. Centenario (Argentina) – Through its Argentinian subsidiary, Lithium Power holds a total of seven granted tenements in the Centenario lithium brine salar within the Salta province of the Puna Plateau. In total, the seven granted tenements cover an area of 68.46 km2.
With the exception of the Maricunga JV, all tenements are 100% owned by LPI or LPSA (including rights to the Centenario tenements).
Lithium Power International Ltd