TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Neo Lithium Corp. (“Neo Lithium” or the “Company”) (TSXV: NLC; OTCQX: NTTHF; FSE: NE2) is pleased to announce that the lithium carbonate pilot plant (“Plant”) built by the Instituto de Investigaciones Tecnologicas from Universidad de Concepcion, Chile, has successfully arrived in Fiambala, Catamarca, Argentina. The Company’s engineers have started reassembling the Plant and expect to have it fully operational in late February for its Tres Quebradas lithium brine project in Catamarca Province, Argentina (the “3Q Project”).
The Plant was previously successfully tested with synthetic brine in Chile and is going to start using brine from the 3Q Project, concentrated approximately to 4% lithium from 3Q Project pilot evaporation ponds to start pilot scale production of lithium carbonate at the Plant. Currently the designed annual capacity of the pilot ponds is over 500 tonnes of approximate 4% lithium brine per year, and the Plant has a designed capacity of 50 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year.
The Company has also received approval and renewal from the environmental authorities of the Province of Catamarca for the exploration and development program for the 3Q Project. Environmental regulation in Argentina requires that environmental licenses are updated and renewed every two years. This is the first biannual renewal for the 3Q Project. This process continues over the life of the project and allows Neo Lithium to keep the authorities updated on any changes and potential deviations from the original program outlined and planned for the next two years.
The current renewal will allow the development of further infill drilling (currently on-going), production wells, monitoring wells and further drilling in the high-grade zone as well as the expansion, automation and fine tuning of the pond system in the 3Q Project. Neo Lithium is also planning to build more warehouses and infrastructure at the camp, pilot ponds and Plant.
“We continue to de-risk our operations and show strong commitment to develop the 3Q Project,” said Waldo Perez, President and CEO of Neo Lithium Corp. “Clearing customs on time and obtaining the biannual extension of the environmental permit have been carried out diligently and successfully by our team. We are fortunate to work with the Province of Catamarca and its very professional process, which is based on their strict regulatory system and decades of experience with large scale mines.”
As previously announced, the environmental impact assessment report (“EIA”) to build the mine is expected to be presented to the authorities imminently. This represents the final environmental approval required for a potential construction of a commercial scale mine. The EIA will be filed with the pre-feasibility study during 1H 2019.
About Neo Lithium Corp.
Neo Lithium Corp. has quickly become a prominent new name in lithium brine exploration by virtue of its high quality 3Q Project and experienced team. Already well capitalized, Neo Lithium is rapidly advancing its newly discovered 3Q Project - a unique high-grade lithium brine lake and salar complex in Latin America’s Lithium Triangle.
The 3Q Project is located in the Province of Catamarca, the largest lithium producing area in Argentina. The project covers approximately 35,000 ha and the salar complex within this area is approximately 160 km2. Surface exploration results indicate a high-grade lithium target in the northern portion of the salar complex extending for approximately 20 km by 5 km with low magnesium and sulphate impurities. Low impurities are a key factor in traditional low-cost evaporation techniques for final lithium carbonate production. Hot springs on the property with elevated lithium content are part of the recharge system of the salar complex.
The technical team that discovered this unique salar complex is one of the most experienced in lithium salars, having discovered and led the technical work, including resource definition and full feasibility study, that established the Cauchari lithium salar as one of the largest lithium brine resources in the world.
Additional information regarding Neo Lithium Corp. is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com under the Company's profile and at its website at www.neolithium.ca, including various pictures of ongoing work at the project.
Waldo A. Perez, Ph.D. and P.Geo., and a qualified person for the purposes of NI 43-101, supervised the preparation of and approved the contents of this news release.
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Neo Lithium Corp.
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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements - Certain information set forth in this news release may contain forward-looking statements. Such statements include but are not limited to, statements as to lithium brine grades at depth being consistent with surface results, the potential for resource expansion at depth, the potential of the northern salar sediments, and deeper sediments, for hosting brine, the ability to proceed to scoping studies quickly, proceeding with continued work for additional economic studies the potential for production expansion in the Company’s assessment of the economic potential of the 3Q Project, that test results are indicative of future results, and the additional of additional independent directors. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “is expected”, “scheduled”, “estimates” “intends”, “anticipates”, “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases, or statements that certain actions, events or results “can”, “may”, “could”, “would”, ”should”, “might” or “will”, occur or be achieved, or the negative connotations thereof. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of the Company, which could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. These risks include, without limitation, risks related to failure to obtain adequate financing on a timely basis and on acceptable terms, political and regulatory risks associated with mining and exploration activities, including environmental regulation, risks and uncertainties relating to the interpretation of drill and sample results, risks related to the uncertainty of cost and time estimation and the potential for unexpected delays, costs and expenses, risks related to metal price fluctuations, the market for lithium products, competition for experienced directors in the junior mineral exploration and development sector, and other risks and uncertainties related to the Company's prospects, properties and business detailed elsewhere in the Company’s disclosure record. Although the Company believes its expectations are based upon reasonable assumptions and has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements.