- The Maricunga Lithium Project (the “Maricunga Project”) achieves a major milestone by submitting the project Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) to the Chilean Environmental Authority, SEA (“Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental”), after more than 2 years of preparation.Environmental process has now begun and approval is expected to be obtained by the end of 2019.
- The Maricunga Project will provide significant economic and social benefits for the Country and the Atacama Region. The Company expects to continue working closely with the Chilean authorities and contribute to strength the country’s position on the global Lithium Industry.
- The EIA submission follows the Resource Report and Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) completed in 2017 and the Nuclear Commission (“CCHEN”) permit obtained in 2018. The Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) is expected to be finalized and released by the end of the year, which demonstrate the value of the Maricunga Project.
Vancouver, British Columbia – Bearing Lithium Corp. (“Bearing” or the “Company“) (TSX Venture: BRZ) (OTCQB:BLILF) (FRANKFURT: B6K2) through the JV Company, Minera Salar Blanco (“MSB”), is pleased to announce the submission of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (“EIA”) for the Maricunga Lithium Project (the “Maricunga Project”) to the Chilean Environmental Authority, SEA (“Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental”). Bearing holds an 18% interest in the Maricunga Project through its corresponding 18% ownership in MSB.
The EIA is the culmination of more than two years of data collection, aggregation and analysis prepared by management and internationally-renowned consulting experts including MWH – Stantec, Worley Parsons and Flo Solutions. The EIA is comprised of in-depth data gathering and analysis, environmental and engineering studies, and monitoring campaigns.
The EIA document, which is a thorough and comprehensive document of over 11,000 pages, includes complete environmental baselines, hydrological and hydrogeological modelling, human, archaeological, fauna and flora characterization and impact evaluation. It also represents an extensive collaboration and relationship with the Colla indigenous communities on the area, regional authorities and local organizations.
Approval of the EIA is expected to be obtained by the end of 2019 for MSB to be ready for a construction decision. Under the Chilean law, the state is required to provide notice within 40 days of submission if there are any deficiencies in the EIA before moving into the formal assessment process.
The EIA submission follows the NI 43-101 and JORC Resource Report and Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) completed in 2017, as well as the Nuclear Commission (“CCHEN”) permit obtained in 2018, which demonstrated robust economics for the Maricunga Project.
The Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) for the Maricunga Project, which is being prepared by Worley Parsons, is expected to be released in December.The outstanding items, which include reserve modelling and engineering for the production plants, are being completed by GEA Messo in Germany and are nearing completion.
In addition, discussions with major Chilean and international institutions are progressing with the objective of finalizing a letter of intent in H2/2019 for project financing. A number of international companies have approached MSB regarding off-take agreements and project participation, with discussions continuing in parallel with the finalization of the development activities of the Maricunga Project.
Cristobal García-Huidobro, MSB’s Chief Executive Officer commented:“We are excited to have submitted our EIA assessment which has been the culmination of over two years of work by our team and consultants. As part of our submission, we have made the decision to provide additional studies and more extensive reviews than required to ensure that the EIA submitted was of the highest standard. The critically important and extremely technically complicated hydrological and hydrogeological modelling has provided us with positive outcomes and reaffirms the robust financial projections which will be included in the DFS later this year. The engagement with the local communities has enabled the project to be welcomed in the Maricunga area and we are confident we can expect positive outcomes within the EIA review process.”
Jeremy Poirier, Bearing’s CEO and President commented: “The extensiveness of our EIA submission and project development work demonstrates our commitment to the advancement and value of the Maricunga Project. This EIA submission represents a key step forward for the Maricunga Project on its development path to become one of the global suppliers for the lithium industry.”
A copy of the EIA report can be found at www.sea.gob.cl.
Contributing Specialist Consultants
There are many rigorous technical studies which serve as references to the EIA. These have been conducted by carefully selected and well-known international experts. Bearing and Minera Salar Blanco S.A are appreciative of the efforts of its internal management team and the following independent consultants who prepared and contributed to the EIA.