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Bearing Lithium announces receipt of Key Regulatory Export License for Maricunga Project

Mining News - Published on Fri, 16 Mar 2018

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Bearing Lithium Corp announced that Minera Salar Blanco, the joint-venture company that operates the Maricunga project, has received authorization from the Chilean Nuclear Commission to extract, produce and market lithium products from the Maricunga salar. The Maricunga project, is held by MSB, the joint-venture company, which is owned by Bearing Lithium (17.7%), Minera Salar Blanco SpA (32.3%) and LPI (50%).

On March 7th, 2018, the Chilean Nuclear Commission authorized MSB to extract, produce and market lithium products from the Maricunga salar. The authorization is for an extraction quota of 88,885 metric tonnes of metallic lithium (approximately 473,135 tonnes of lithium carbonate) contained in brine over a 30-year period. The joint-venture has four years from the date of authorization to present the environmental approval of the project to the CCHEN. The joint-venture anticipates submitting its environmental application in early Q2/2018.

The resolution of the CCHEN authorizes the extraction of lithium from the grandfathered mining concessions included in the Maricunga project, which are those registered prior to 1979 and referred to as ‘old code’, with the opportunity to expand under a number of circumstances. First, upon receipt of a Special Operations Contract or CEOL to exploit ‘new code’ mining concessions (registered after 1979), the joint-venture will be able to request an increase on the assigned quota. Second, as the resolution only considers the Measured, Indicated and Inferred resources on the claims (as per the NI 43-101 and JORC reports), the delineation of additional resources at depth would allow the joint-venture to request an increase. Additionally, as the authorization assumes a 40% recovery at the production plant, any improved process efficiency would allow for a proportional increase in the production quota.

Mr Cristobal Garcia-Huidobro, CEO of MSB, commented that “This permit represents a key milestone on the critical path for the company to advance the Maricunga project, placing it firmly as one of a select few advanced-stage lithium carbonate projects in the Americas. After four years of successful development, including our recent NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment, the company continues to progress on the next step to submit its Environmental Impact Assessment to the authorities, making the Maricunga project, in our view, the most advanced lithium project in Chile.”

Mr Jeremy Poirier, President and CEO of Bearing Lithium, commented that “Bearing would like to congratulate and thank the MSB team for its accomplishments to date on advancing the Maricunga project. Having already demonstrated the world class potential of the project, and fully-funded through the Feasibility Study, advancing on the permitting stage is key to adding value in an environment where lithium continues to be in high demand given its future outlook.”

Meanwhile, Bearing Lithium Corp is a mineral exploration and development company, primarily focused on lithium. Its primary asset is a free-carried 17.7% interest in the Maricunga lithium brine project in Chile. The Maricunga project represents one of the highest-grade lithium brine salars globally and the only pre-production project in Chile. Over US$30 million has been invested in the project to date and all expenditures through 2018, including the delivery of a Definitive Feasibility Study in Q3/2018, are fully-funded by LPI, their earn-in joint-venture partner. Bearing Lithium also holds a portfolio of grass-roots exploration projects in the gold district of the Yukon, which are currently optioned to Golden Predator, and a lithium project in Nevada, which is currently optioned to First Division Ventures Inc.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 16 Mar 2018
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