TORONTO, Canada, May 2, 2018 – Namibian lithium developer and emerging lithium concentrate producer Desert Lion Energy Inc. (TSXV: DLI) (“Desert Lion” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the completion of delivery of 30,321 tonnes (t) of lithium concentrate bound for the Company’s off-take partner, Jiangxi Jinhui Lithium Co. Limited’s (“Jinhui”), lithium carbonate conversion plant located in Yichuan, China.
“Desert Lion is proud to have completed the delivery of the first commercial shipment of lithium concentrate to our offtake partner Jinhui,” commented Tim Johnston, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desert Lion Energy. “In the last twelve months, the Company has completed and received approval for its Environmental Impact Assessment for Phases 1 and 2 of its production plan; received the permits for the processing of the historic run of mine tailings; completed over 20,000 metres of exploration drilling and high resolution radiometric and magnetic survey; and signed a strategic offtake agreement with Jinhui, which included the receipt of a US$4.5MM prepayment.
“Completion of this shipment is another key achievement for the team in a short period of time. We look forward to continuing this momentum as we move ahead with Phase 1 production,” stated Mr. Johnston.
Production Schedule and Key Milestones
The Company’s production schedule remains on track with additional production of approximately 120,000t – 130,000t of lithium concentrate expected to be produced from stockpiled material during Phase 1 operations. In support of the Company’s plan to produce a higher value lithium product, Desert Lion continues with the construction of its Phase 1 floatation plant with commissioning expected by the end of Q3 2018. Upon completion, the Phase 1 flotation plant will be capable of processing approximately 350,000t – 400,000t of feed per year.
Plans to publish a mineral resource estimate and preliminary economic assessment (“PEA”) on the Desert Lion lithium project in Namibia (the “Project”) is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018. In addition to containing the Company’s mineral resource estimate on the Project, the PEA will include an economic analysis on the Phase 1 floatation plant, as well as Phases 2 and 3 of the Company’s production plan.
Lastly, Desert Lion expects to receive a decision on its Phase 2 mining license, which is currently under review by Namibia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy, by end of the second quarter 2018; and finalize Jinhui’s C$13MM investment in Desert Lion in the next 6-8 weeks, which will entitle Jinhui to a 15% equity stake in the Company.
About Desert Lion Energy
Desert Lion Energy is an emerging lithium development company focused on building Namibia’s first large-scale lithium mine to be located approximately 210km from the nation’s capital of Windhoek. The Company’s Rubicon and Helikon mines are located within a 301km2 prospective land package, with known lithium bearing pegmatitic mineralization and the Company is currently in Phase 1 of its production plan, producing and exporting lithium concentrate from stockpiled material. The project site is accessible year-round by road and has access to power, water, rail, port, airport and communication infrastructure.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Generally, any statements that are not historical facts may contain forward-looking information, and forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget” “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or indicates that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be” taken, “occur” or “be achieved.” Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to: statements and expectations regarding the targeted additional tonnage of lithium concentrate production from Phase 1 operations; the timing for the construction and commissioning of the Company’s Phase 1 floatation plant; the exercise of the conversion option by Jinuui pursuant to the Offtake Agreement; the anticipated timeline for publication of the mineral resource estimate and preliminary economic assessment; the anticipated timeline for the approval of the Company’s application for its Phase 2 mining license; and the Company’s planned work program for the Project and its exploration and development schedule and timetable.
Forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions management believes to be reasonable at the time such statements are made, including but not limited to, continued exploration activities, lithium and other metal prices, the estimation of initial and sustaining capital requirements, the estimation of labour and production costs, the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, assumptions with respect to currency fluctuations, the timing and amount of future exploration and development expenditures, receipt of required regulatory approvals, the availability of necessary financing for the Project, permitting and such other assumptions and factors as set out herein.
Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: risks related to changes in lithium prices; sources and cost of power and water for the Project; the estimation of initial capital requirements; the lack of historical operations; the estimation of labour and operating costs; general global markets and economic conditions; risks associated with exploration, development and operations of mineral deposits; the estimation of initial targeted mineral resource tonnage and grade for the Project; risks associated with uninsurable risks arising during the course of exploration, development and production; risks associated with the estimation of targeted production tonnages from Phase 1 operations; risks associated with currency fluctuations; environmental risks; competition faced in securing experienced personnel; access to adequate infrastructure to support exploration activities; risks associated with changes in the mining regulatory regime governing the Company and the Project; completion of the environmental assessment process; risks related to regulatory and permitting delays; risks related to potential conflicts of interest; the reliance on key personnel; financing, capitalization and liquidity risks including the risk that the financing necessary to fund continued exploration and development activities at the Project may not be available on satisfactory terms, or at all; the risk of potential dilution through the issuance of additional common shares of the Company; the risk of litigation.
Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended, there can be no assurance that such forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is made as of the date of this presentation and the Company does not undertake to update or revise any forward-looking information this is included herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
Cautionary Note Regarding Potential Quantity of Stockpiled Material
The potential quantity of stockpiled material located on the property as disclosed herein is an estimate only and is conceptual in nature; there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further work will result in this estimate being delineated as a mineral resource. Estimates provided are based on initial prospecting work completed by the Company.
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.
For more information, please contact:
Desert Lion Energy Inc.
Tim Johnston, President & CEO
Salisha Ilyas, VP, Investor Relations
Tel: (647) 209-9200