Millennial Lithium Corp. (TSX.V: ML) (FSE: A3N2) (OTC: MLNLF) is engaged in the development of the Pastos Grandes lithium project in Salta Province, Argentina. The company’s Pastos Grandes project totals approximately 10,000 hectares located in geopolitically stable, mining-friendly jurisdictions. The company also enjoys a solid strategic partnership with GCL, a Chinese solar giant that has become Millennial Lithium’s lead investor with approximately $30 million investment to date.
Millennial Lithium’s compelling valuation places it with a $123 million market cap, third only to Lithium Americas and Orocobre in the region. The company holds a strong cash position of C$40 million and is pursuing a strategic plan moving forward in 2019 that includes an updated NI 43-101 resource report and a full bankable feasibility study, including supporting evaporation ponds and pilot processing plant.
Argentina currently produces 17 percent of the world’s lithium supply. Lithium is at the cornerstone of a quiet industrial revolution as it brings together energy, automotive and technologies companies to foster a lasting move away from carbon-based resources. Lithium demand is expected to grow at an annual rate of 22 percent through 2025 with increased demands for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles and battery-based energy storage leading the way.
Millennial Lithium has a world-class lithium brine asset strategically located in the heart of the Argentinean portion of the South American “Lithium Triangle.”
The company’s flagship lithium brine project, Pastos Grandes, is following a two-year timeline to production as a result of some of the best infrastructure in the Lithium Triangle. Located 231 km from the city of Salta at an elevation of 3,800 meters, Pastos Grandes is accessible year-round with all-weather access to paved highways, power and natural gas. Based on proven technology, brine extraction, solar evaporation and conventional lithium brine processing, Millennial Lithium’s preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the Pastos Grandes project, completed by international engineering firm WorleyParsons, estimates a mine life of 25 years with a three-year ramp up to 25,000 tonnes per year of Lithium-Carbonate. A 3 tonne-per-month lithium carbonate pilot plant is currently being built for use at the site.
To date, 23 exploration wells are completed with $40 million spent in development. A revised Resource Estimate is planned for Q1 2019. Four pumping wells are also to be completed in Q1 2019 with two water wells currently being drilled in support of the ongoing Feasibility Study, also being completed by WorleyParsons. Infrastructure buildup is underway, including completion of a 40-man camp, hybrid solar-diesel power system, pilot plant and laboratory with ICP unit for rapid sample assays and a liming plant for treating concentrated brines form the pilot ponds. Millennial Lithium is also constructing a Pastos Grandes community center/warehouse and all-purpose building that is central to building community relations with local residents.
Encouraging results from an extended pumping test of a second production-scale well at the Pastos Grandes project revealed that at a pumping rate of 15 liters/second (L/s), the lithium content remained consistent over the 23-day trial period with a drawdown of approximately 57 meters with rapid recovery. Estimated transmissivity (the rate at which the brine moves through the aquifer) is 40 square meters per day, demonstrating the aquifer’s strong potential to sustain a long-term pumping rate of 15 L/s.
Brine sampling completed daily during the pumping test over the 23-day period revealed the chemistry is consistent with lithium ranging from 482 mg/L and 518 mg/L, averaging 495 mg/L. The best lithium values occurred during the last five days of the pumping test. The magnesium to lithium (Mg/Li) ratio averages 5.3 and the average potassium to lithium ratio (K/Li) is 10.5 and the average sulphate to lithium ratio (SO4/Li) is 16.4. Sampling was conducted in accordance with CIM guidelines for brine resource evaluation, with an appropriate chain of custody and QA/QC program in place for ensuring veracity, accuracy and precision of the analytical results.
Millennial Lithium’s highly prospective lithium assets and strategies are bolstered by a world class management and board with extensive experience in lithium and large development projects.
President/CEO/Director Farhad Abasov, MBA, has founded and managed a number of mining aassets with successful exits in the last few years. He was president and CEO of Allana Potash which was sold to Israel Chemicals Ltd. for $170 million in 2015. As executive chairman of Rodinia Lithium, Abasov developed lithium bring projects in Argentina in 2016. He was also co-founder of Potash One, acquired by German potash company K+S for $430 million in 2010, and was senior vice president, strategy, at Energy Metals, acquired by Uranium One for $1.88 million in 2007.
Iain Scarr, BSc., MBA, is Chief Operating Officer with a wealth of experience in lithium brine development and operations. He worked at Rio Tinto, industrial minerals, including lithium resource development in Serbia. Scarr led feasibility work at Sal de Vida lithium brine project (Galaxy Resources, Argentina); completed the Rincon lithium brine project feasibility study (Enirgi, Argentina); and is a resident of Salta with established, strong relationships in the region.
Chief Financial Officer Max Missiouk, CPA, CMA, has served as a CFP and controller for a number of publicly listed resource and venture companies including Allana Potash Corp. and Crocodile Gold Corp. He is a CPA (CMA) and has a post-graduate degree in banking and finance management.
Peter J. MacLean, Ph.D., P.Geo, is senior vice president, technical services. He has more than 30 years of exploration and development experience in North America, South America and Africa. Most recently, MacLean acted as senior vice president/exploration of Allana Potash Corp. and directed all exploration and development activities on its flagship Danakhil Potash Project in Ethiopia including managing the company’s Feasibility Study and overseeing pilot solution mining and evaporation pond trials. He has also worked extensively on projects throughout the Americas and is fluent in Spanish.
Peter Ehren, M.Sc., AusIMM CP, process consultant, has been involved in lithium brines for more than 20 years. Ehren has worked at the Salar de Atacama as part of SQM’s team of leading evaporation technology experts, rising to the position of R&D manager. He has worked in the majority of lithium basins worldwide for numerous projects including Orocobre’s Salar de Olaroz Project.
- Robust brine lithium resource with 2.1 million tonnes lithium-carbonate equivalent (LCE) of Measured and Indicated Resource and 878,000 tonnes LCE of Inferred Resource
- Strong 43-101 Resource Estimate with an update expected in Q1 2019 with potential upside from newly acquired REMSA ground
- Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) completed; mining and processing methods for lithium brines are proven; site is amenable to modular and scalable production
- Strategically located with developed infrastructure in geopolitically stable environment
- Located in Salta Province, Argentina, rated No. 1 Mining Jurisdiction by the Fraser Institute
- World class management and board with solid strategic partnership with GCL, a Chinese solar giant investing $30 million in Millennial Lithium
- Mine life of 25 years with three-year ramp up to 25,000 tonnes per year of lithium-carbonate
- OPEX estimate of US$3,218/tonne of Li-Carb over the mine life
- Global demand for lithium is expected to grow at an annual rate of 22% until 2025 with increased demand for lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles and battery-based energy storage leading the way
- Demand for lithium carbonate is expected to rise to more than 850,000 tonnes by 2025 from 225,000 tonnes in 2018, with larger spikes anticipated post-2025