Vancouver, British Columbia – Bearing Lithium Corp. (“Bearing” or the “Company”) (TSX Venture:BRZ) (OTCQB:BLILF)
- The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) bidding process for the Maricunga project continues.Two major global engineering groups, Worley Parsons and Bechtel, have been chosen to provide a comprehensive construction proposal for the project.
- Due diligence continues under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Chilean State-owned mining company, CODELCO, and the Maricunga project’s joint venture company, Minera Salar Blanco S.A. (MSB).
- Discussions continue with parties on project funding and off-take agreements for the Maricunga project.
Bearing is pleased to provide a corporate update on the progress of the Maricunga Lithium Project in Chile, owned and operated by Minera Salar Blanco SA, of which Bearing owns 18%.
As a response to the global COVID-19 crisis, in late March the Chilean Government focused on containing the spread of the virus by ordering a partial or total lock down throughout the country. While restrictions were eased in early May, the country returned to a stricter lock down on 18 May for certain cities and regions (including Santiago), and that level remains.
MSB’s staff have been working remotely since the lock down was enforced.Almost all activities on the project continue as expected. External parties working with MSB are also operating remotely in a seamless and efficient manner. Similarly, MSB has continued to address the inquiries resulting from the submission and subsequent approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approved for Maricunga in February 2020.
Advancing the engineering work on the project as well as the definition of the EPC structure for development has also continued.Worley Parsons and Bechtel, two leading global engineering firms, will be presenting comprehensive construction proposal for the project.
Field work has been suspended and is now re-scheduled for the second half of the year. However, there are no critical path items/issues that have been currently affected by the lockdowns and restrictions.
CODELCO has continued to advance its due diligence of MSB’s records and technical data associated with the project in accordance with their timetable. MSB´s team is working closely with Codelco’s advisors and technical team in order to finalize the process.
Discussions and communications with a number of well-established companies regarding project finance and product off-take agreements have continued despite the emergence of COVID-19. Given the quality and long-term nature of Maricunga and the lithium market, we expect continued interest for alternatives to the development and funding of the project.
Cristóbal Garcia-Huidobro, Managing Director and CEO of Lithium Power International (51% shareholder of MSB and project operator), commented:
“Maricunga today is one of the most advanced lithium projects in the world and as such, its objectives and next steps are far beyond the simple news coming from exploration companies or less developed projects. Economic value is achieved by realizing our goals, and Maricunga is well ahead in that regard. Let me reaffirm, the Company and its Board remain fully committed to generating value for all shareholders, and we will continue delivering just as we have been doing since the beginning of this exciting project ”.
Maricunga is Chile’s highest grade and most advanced lithium project outside the Salar de Atacama. It is one of the most advanced and robust projects in South America and is the only one on the Maricunga salt lake to have completed a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS). The DFS was finalised in 2019, and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was approved in February 2020. The project is now moving through the final stage of development before construction.
Total annual production of 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) is planned over a period of 20 years. Production costs will place the project within the first quartile of the industry in terms of LCE cost-per-tonne and overall LCE extraction efficiency. The project has significant potential for future expansion because the resource is open beyond the 200m depth limit of the DFS resource/reserve assessment.
About Bearing Lithium Corp.
Bearing Lithium Corp. is a lithium-focused mineral exploration and development company. Its primary asset is an 18% 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$50 million has been invested in the Maricunga Project to date and all expenditures through to the delivery of a Definitive Feasibility Study have been fully-funded by the earn-in joint-venture partner.
Signed “Gil Playford”
Gil Playford, Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward Looking Information
This press release includes certain “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities legislation including the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, without limitation, statements relating the future operating or financial performance of the Company, are forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “potential”, “possible”, and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions, or results “will”, “may”, “could”, or “should” occur or be achieved.. Actual future results may differ materially. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Forward-looking statements reflect the beliefs, opinions and projections on the date the statements are made and are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and the parties have made assumptions and estimates based on or related to many of these factors. Readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release concerning these times. Except as required by law, the Company does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law.