Maricunga Lithium Project – A World Class Asset

  • Bearing’s primary asset is a 17.14% interest in the Maricunga Lithium Project (“Maricunga Project”) in Chile. The Maricunga Project is the highest grade, undeveloped lithium salar in the Americas. It is second in grade only to the Salar de Atacama, which accounts for 100% of Chile’s lithium production and about 40% of global production. Over US$67 million has been invested in the project to date.
  • A key regulatory export license from the Chilean Nuclear Commission (CCHEN) has been awarded to the Maricunga Project. This allows for the extraction, production, and marketing of lithium products from the project from its grandfathered concessions.
  • An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was awarded by the Chilean Environmental Review Agency (SEA) in February 2020.
  • Critical Project Infrastructure including power and water for the construction and operation have already been secured through long-term contracts.
  • The Maricunga Project hosts a NI 43-101 (Sept 2021) Measured & Indicated Resource of 2.9 million tonnes (mt) of LCE.
  • Stage One Project (Old Code Royalty-Free Resources) includes 1.9 million mt LCE (M&I) with an average grade of 953 mg/l lithium.
  • Stage Two Development (New Code Resource) includes 1.0 million mt LCE (M&I) with an average grade of 1175 mg/l lithium.

Definitive Feasibility Study Confirms Positive Outlook

  • The Maricunga Stage One Lithium Brine Project’s Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) supports 15,200 tpa production of LCE over 20 years. 

  • Project NPV of US$1.425B (after tax) at 8% discount rate, providing an IRR of 39.6% and a 2-year Payback.
  • Estimated steady-state annual EBITDA of US$324M. 

  • Project operating cost places Maricunga among the most efficient producers with an OPEX of US$3,718 per tonne
  • Total project CAPEX of US$626M
    • Direct: US$419M
    • Indirect: US$145M
    • Contingency: US$62M
  • The Environmental Impact Study approved in February 2020 by the Chilean government projects achievement of carbon neutrality over the construction period – process led by Deloitte will continue during upcoming years as the project advances 

  • Project infrastructure including water rights have been secured through long term contracts for project construction and operation.
  • Access to the National Power Grid has been granted, ensuring future power supply including an important component of renewable energy 

  • Preliminary indications of interest received from international and Chilean financial institutions and private funds for debt financing and future equity financing of the project
  • Updating of the EPC proposals will commence during Q1. Final Investment Decision expected for 2022, with construction to start immediately afterwards

Technical Report on the Maricunga Lithium Project NI 43-101 (PDF)

Project Location

The Maricunga Project is located 170 kilometres northeast of Copiapo in the III Region of Atacama in northern Chile at an elevation of 3,800 metres above sea level (masl). The project is comprised of a number of tenements totalling 4,463 hectares.

The Maricunga Project is serviced by a number of access roads and highways capable of supporting the transportation of heavy equipment required for construction and service a mining operation. Additionally, long-term agreements have been entered into for critical project infrastructure including grid power supply and water rights.

Maricunga Lithium Triangle

Maricunga Project Site

Production Process

MSB Lithium Mining Concessions


Area (ha)

Mining Code

New Concessions


Litio 1-6




Old Concessions


Cocina 19-27



San Francisco 1-10



Despreciada 6-7



Salamina 1-3






Total Resource


  • May 2011, Li3 Energy Inc. (now “Bearing Lithium Corp.”) acquired interest in the New Concessions Litio 1-6
  • April 2013 MSB SpA (“Borda Group”) acquired Cocina 19-27 mining concessions
  • December 2014 MSB SpA (Borda Group) acquired San Francisco 1-10, Despreciada 6-7and Salamina 1-3 concessions
  • In 2016, a new company Minera Salar Blanco SA formed to develop project with Lithium Power International Ltd. (“LPI”)

Current ownership: LPI – 50.55% ; MSB SpA (Borda Group) – 31.31%; Bearing Lithium Corp. – 17.14%

MSB Lithium Mining Concessions

Lithium Carbonate Measured and Indicated Resource

Technical Report on the Maricunga Lithium Project NI 43-101 (PDF)

Lithium Carbonate Exploration Potential

  • Litio 1-6 New Mining Concessions add 979,000 MT to the total M&I Resource of 2.9 million MT
  • Stage Two M&I of 1.9 million MT is down to 400m depth
  • The geological model suggests the same lithium concentration between 200m and 400m depth below the Stage Two – New Concessions

Environmental Approval (EIA Received Feb 05, 2020)

  • Process involved in-depth data gathering, environmental and engineering studies and monitoring campaigns including a comprehensive 11,400-page document.
  •  Includes environmental baseline studies, hydrological and hydrogeological modelling, human, archaeological and fauna and flora characterization, and impact evaluation.
  • The EIA also included a lengthy process of social engagement with the Colla indigenous communities in the area with consultation with regional authorities and local organizations.
  • Since the initial submission of the EIA, a review process was undertaken by the Chilean environmental authorities, with three rounds of observations, clarifications, and further assessments.
  • Final EIA approval was received February 2020.

Unrivaled Project Quality:

Project News Release History: