Western Lithium USA Corporation is pleased to announce that on March 7, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") Winnemucca District of Nevada issued a Decision Record ("DR") and Finding of No Significant Impact ("FONSI") for Western Lithium's Kings Valley Mine Final Environmental Assessment ("EA").
The BLM's DR allows the development and operation of the Company's proposed 110-acre Kings Valley hectorite clay mine. The Company is currently constructing an organoclay manufacturing plant in Fernley, Nevada, where various clay products, including hectorite and potentially bentonite clays, will be used for the production of its Hectatone™ drilling fluid additive products.
Victor W. Lozano, Field Manager for the BLM Humboldt River Field Office, stated that "It has been about 20 years since we have had a hectorite clay operation within the BLM Winnemucca District. Knowing that there are other cultural and natural resources in the area, I am pleased with the balanced approach of having a small hard rock mining site that coexists with the other resources."
"We are beginning clay mining operations in 2014 to support our strategy of initially selling Hectatone™ organoclay products in the near term to the growing oilfield industry," said Jay Chmelauskas, CEO of Western Lithium. "Ultimately, we plan to increase our activities at Kings Valley and extract lithium from our hectorite clay in the future, in order to become a strategic USA based lithium supplier for new battery manufacturing that is anticipated due to increased lithium demand expected from electrified vehicles and grid storage."
Upon approval of the Plan of Operations, which is anticipated to occur within the next month, the Company will be able to initiate full-scale hectorite clay mining activities at the site. Clay will be selectively mined from two open pits and stockpiled on-site in a designated stockpile area. Clay material will initially be hauled to the Hectatone™ Organoclay Plant facility, located in Fernley, Nevada, which is currently under construction and is anticipated to be in operation mid-year 2014.