Western Lithium USA Corporation is pleased to provide an update on the progress and timeline of the Kings Valley and Cauchari-Olaroz lithium Projects.
In Nevada, the Company plans to engage an engineering firm to identify a feasible gas pipeline alignment and perform preliminary pipeline engineering to connect the Kings Valley Lithium Project (the "Kings Valley Project") with the Ruby Gas Interstate Pipeline. The Company will also initiate additional preliminary engineering work related to the development of the project's water resources. In addition, testing campaigns commenced at the Company's lithium and potassium demonstration facilities located in Weimar and Sondershausen, Germany. The testing campaigns are scheduled to be concluded by January 2016 and will support design criteria and equipment selection for a definitive Feasibility Study. A video of the Company's demonstration plant can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAF9Wrf8Vxc.
The completion of these tasks will facilitate the preparation of the Kings Valley Project's Plan of Operations after which mine permitting will be initiated with the Bureau of Land Management, Winnemucca District Office, that aligns with a potential project construction start up targeted in early 2019.
In Argentina, Western Lithium's subsidiary, Lithium Americas Corp., recently signed a Heads of Agreement ("HOA") with POSCO, a major South Korean steel and materials company. The HOA defined the basic conditions of a joint venture to develop a portion of the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine deposit. The plant is expected to be producing 2,500 tons per annum by year-end 2016, and ramping up to 20,000 tons by year-end 2017. Mutual due diligence has commenced, and the Company expects a definitive Joint Venture Agreement to be finalized by year-end 2015 (see press release August 27, 2015).
Jay Chmelauskas, CEO of Western Lithium USA Corporation commented: "Lithium market conditions appear to be tight. On September 15th, a major lithium producer, FMC Corporation, raised lithium prices for all lithium products by 15% effective October 1, 2015, citing growing demand and a need to re-invest to continue reliable supply of high-quality lithium products. The Heads of Agreement signed with our Korean partner calls for lithium production at our Cauchari-Olaroz project to commence by early 2017. In Nevada, the initiation of engineering work associated with the gas and water pipelines, along with the completion of additional campaigns at our lithium demonstration facilities in Germany, will provide the criteria to sequence the development of our Nevada based lithium project, after our near term Jujuy, Argentina based lithium project, to coincide with what we believe will be significant demand increases for lithium products from the transportation, storage and consumer electronics sector."