Vancouver, British Columbia – Bearing Lithium Corp. (“Bearing” or the “Company“) (TSX Venture: BRZ) (OTCQB: BRGRF) (FRANKFURT: B6K1) is pleased to provide an update on developments at the Maricunga Project in Chile. The Maricunga joint-venture continues to advance towards the completion of a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) which is anticipated in Q3/2018.
Minera Salar Blanco (MSB) has provided an update on the ongoing advancements at the Maricunga lithium project in Chile. Minera Salar Blanco is a joint-venture company owned by Bearing Lithium (17.7%), Minera Salar Blanco SpA (32.3%) and Lithium Power International (50%). Under the terms of the JV, Lithium Power is funding all exploration and development costs with both Bearing and MSB having a free carry through to the completion of a definitive feasibility study.
Minera Salar Blanco reports that work with Veolia, GEA, Andritz, and FLSmith continue to advance with pilot plant testwork on lithium-rich brine from the Maricunga project. The first stage of the processing has been completed, as previously reported, with brine reaching a 5% lithium concentration. The second stage of processing, which involves the production of lithium carbonate and potash, is expected to be completed in Q1/2018. Process testwork is well advanced with optimizations to the brine polishing sequence anticipated in the coming months.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is well advanced and is anticipated to be submitted by Q2/2018. The environmental baseline studies have been completed on site and information is being document for inclusion in the EIA. The hydrogeological model for the salar has advanced significantly, with the conceptual, numerical and two-dimensional models having been completed and the calibration of the three-dimensional model currently underway. The hydrogeological model, which will allow for the definition of a mineral reserve from the recently upgraded project brine resource, is anticipated to be completed in Q1/2018.
The joint-venture is well advanced regarding securing access to key infrastructure for the project, including existing grid electricity infrastructure and water supply options. The project is well supported with existing infrastructure, being located beside a well maintained international highway to Argentina and having cellular phone coverage. The project is three hours from the mining support centre of Copiapo, where a wide range of support services to the mining industry are available.
The joint-venture has identified the local community groups in the vicinity of the project and has been working with them throughout 2017. The local municipalities have also been engaged to make them aware of the possible outcomes of the project in their areas.
Jeremy Poirier, President and CEO of Bearing Lithium commented: “The Maricunga project has made significant advancements under the leadership of Minera Salar Blanco, the operating company of the joint-venture. The project remains on a de-risking pathway to develop the Maricunga project through the production of lithium carbonate and potash samples in Q1/2018, the finalization of the groundwater model and submission of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Q2/2018, and the delivery of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) in Q3/2018.”