Vancouver, British Columbia – Bearing Lithium Corp. (“Bearing” or the “Company“) (TSX Venture: BRZ) (OTCQB: BRGRF) (FRANKFURT: B6K1) is pleased to announce that the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for the Maricunga Project, previously announced on December 19th, 2017, was subsequently filed on SEDAR on December 22nd, 2017. The report titled “Preliminary Assessment and Economic Evaluation of the Minera Salar Blanco Project” prepared by WorleyParsons is available at www.sedar.com under the Bearing company page.
NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) Highlights
- The Maricunga Lithium Brine project’s Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) supports 20,000 tonnes per annum (t/a) production of lithium carbonate (LCE) and 74,000t/a potassium chloride fertilizer (KCl) over 20 years.
- Project NPV is estimated to be US$1.049B before tax at 8% discount rate, providing an IRR of 23.4% and payback period of 2 years and 11 months.
- Project operating cost places Maricunga among most efficient producers with lithium carbonate production cost of US$2,938 per tonne (/t) FOB in Chile, reducing to US$2,635/t with credits from KCl by-product.
- Project development cost estimated at US$366M excluding KCl, plus indirect costs of 14.2% (US$55M) and 18.6% (US$83M) contingency.
- The project is progressing to a feasibility study, providing improved certainty regarding reserves, metallurgical design, equipment and operational risks.
- Conventional evaporation pond and process technology used to minimise operational risks.
- PEA completed by Tier-1 engineering consultancy WorleyParsons to international standards. Accuracy of operating and capital cost estimates expected within a +/- 25% range.
The preliminary economic assessment is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized.
Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The economic analysis of the PEA is based, among others, on the following main assumptions: (a) pricing calculations are based on the signumBOX Lithium Carbonate market study report published in August 2017; (b) long term production rates have been assumed as 20,000 TPY of lithium carbonate and 74,000 TPY of potash; (c) time allowed for engineering, permits and construction is 4 years, with production starting on the fifth year; (d) projected operating period is 20 years at full lithium carbonate production, or 22 years from the start of operations; (e) CAPEX and OPEX estimates presented above; and (f) 100 % of capital expenditures, including pre-production expenses and working capital are financed solely with owner’s equity.
“The release of this PEA is an important milestone for the Maricunga project. Prepared by Worley Parsons alongside MSB’s technical team, the level of detail and information of the report was prepared in accordance with international standards and demonstrates the world class nature of Maricunga. The study demonstrates a very positive and robust outcome that justifies completion of a full feasibility study. The operating expenditure estimate places Maricunga in the lower quartile on the cost curve, at US$2,938/t (excluding KCl), with a payback of less than three years. We are excited to continue advancing the Maricunga project and congratulate the MSB project management team for its effort and success.” Jeremy Poirier, President and CEO of Bearing commented.
Don Hains, P.Geo., who is a technical consultant to the Company and is a qualified person within the context of National Instrument 43-101, has approved the scientific and technical disclosure in the news release.