- The 3Q Project achieves a major milestone by submitting the project Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) to the Catamarca Mining and Environmental Authority, after more than 2 years of preparation.
- Final construction permitting process has now begun and approval is expected to be obtained in 2019
- The 3Q Project will provide significant economic and social benefits for the Catamarca Province, the Tinogasta Department and Fiambala Municipality.
- The Company has started formalizing its social responsibility practices following E3plus and Sustainable mining standards
TORONTO, April 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Neo Lithium Corp. (“Neo Lithium” or the “Company”) (TSXV:NLC; OTCQX:NTTHF; FSE:NE2) is pleased to announce the submission of the Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) for its wholly-owned Tres Quebradas lithium brine project ("3Q Project") in Catamarca Province, Argentina.
The EIA presented to Catamarca Environmental and Mining Authorities was prepared by GT Ingenieria SA (Argentina), a company specialized in environmental studies with deep experience in the mining and industrial sectors. The EIA included work with local professionals from University of Catamarca, Tucuman and Mendoza as well as the IHLLA Research center in Buenos Aires, specialized in Hydrogeology. The EIA includes a hydrological model that allows the authorities to understand the impact of exploitation in brine water table in the salar, and surrounding lithium brine lakes. The EIA was prepared following the lineaments of the pre-feasibility report announced on March 21, 2019, which outlined the production of 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year.
The Company obtained its initial environmental permit (DIA in Spanish) in 2016, which was subsequently renewed in 2018 and approved in 2019 for exploration, geophysics, drilling, pond, and camp construction. That renewal allowed the development of further infill drilling for the final feasibility study, production wells, monitoring wells and further drilling in the high-grade zone (currently ongoing). The Company is also running a fully operational lithium carbonate pilot plant in Fiambalá.
In October 2018, the Company completed and presented to the environmental authorities the environmental baseline study (“EBS”), with two years of data for flora, fauna, social studies, water studies, air studies, soil studies, archeology, limnology and complete overview of the environmental issues of the region. The EBS included an analysis of the Ramsar site (wetlands environmental awareness zone) and the measures taken to assure that there will be no adverse impact on flora or fauna in the area. The EBS confirms that significant nesting grounds are only found well outside of the proposed mining and operations area of influence. The hydrological models also demonstrate that the proposed mining operations would have no influence on areas to the south, where limited nesting grounds are found. The EBS showed that the 3Q Project can be developed with minimal impact in the ecosystems and identified areas outside the tenements that are environmentally sensitive, proposing to the authorities a special treatment of those sectors.
"This is a very important milestone that de-risks the 3Q Project and demonstrate our commitment to the environment and the people of the Catamarca Province”, said Waldo Perez, President and CEO of Neo Lithium. ”We expect prompt treatment of or our EIA submission since we are now in the final stages of making the 3Q Project a reality to the Province and our shareholders as we continue or pathway and progress towards our development and production objectives.”
The Company has also been working extensively on its social community program for three years with a full-time team of five professionals at its offices in Fiambalá. The team carried on the 2018 program that included:
- A total of 16 training courses for the community so far (including bakery, ceramics, health, pastry, mechanics, safety, leather works among others) that were attended by over 600 people
- More than 15 presentations of the project in schools, municipality, local, service providers and training courses attended by approximate 800 people
- Over 100 Visits of the local community to the 3Q Project
- Over 250 written consultations answered in the Fiambala office
- Sponsorship in sports, arts and religious affairs
- Over 70% local employment
- Priority to local service providers and suppliers
- Strong support on the project based on local survey in town
Neo Lithium continues to adhere to international standards of social responsibility practices. As the 3Q Project is in the final stages of exploration and development, the Company expects to reach the construction and production stage in the foreseeable future, its approach contains elements of both “e3 Plus – a Framework for Responsible Exploration” of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and of “Towards Sustainable Mining” of the Mining Association of Canada. In addition, it includes a sociology component based on the Ph. D. studies of Dr. Jan Boon.
Dr. Boon was a member of the CSR Committee of the PDAC and was involved in the development of e3 Plus. His sociology Ph. D. thesis dealt with social responsibility in mineral exploration. Dr. Boon is providing guidance together with Lic. Pablo Lumerman, an expert in dialogue and a member of the “Plataforma de Diálogo de la República Argentina and of the Grupo de Diálogo Latinoamericano”. Employees are participating in capacity building exercises and have taken part in a survey aimed at establishing a sociological baseline.
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 recently 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 16,000 ha.
The technical team that has discovered the 3Q Project characterized this unique salar complex as one of the most experienced in lithium salars. For example, this team 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.
For further information, please contact:
Neo Lithium Corp.
Neither 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. The TSX Venture Exchange Inc. has in no way approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.
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.