RENO, NEVADA--(Marketwired - Jun 13, 2013) - Western Lithium USA Corporation ("Western Lithium", the "Company") (WLC.TO)(WLCDF) is pleased to announce that it has ordered major pieces of equipment consisting of extruders and dryers for a total expenditure of approximately US$1.5 million. The equipment is expected to be fabricated and ready to deliver to Nevada in the fall of 2013. Other capital items that remain to complete the plant construction mainly consist of tanks, piping, utility and building upgrades.
The Company is currently finalizing details to locate the plant at an established industrial site location in Nevada. In addition, test mining has been contracted to commence in mid-July, and the ore will be crushed at a contractor's location in Winnemucca, Nevada before being transported to the plant site. The hectorite clay mined from Western Lithium's Kings Valley Clay Mine will be processed to produce organoclays (Hectatone(TM) products) that are used as viscosifiers in drilling fluids, a key part of the oil and gas deep drilling process. Hectorite's main advantage lies in its thermal stability, which makes it a superior product to bentonite for high pressure and high temperature drilling applications. The Company expects that it can meet its target of initial Hectatone(TM) production in the first quarter of 2014.
"With the purchase of these lead time items, we are maintaining our timeline to commission the Hectatone(TM) plant in early 2014," said Western Lithium's CEO, Jay Chmelauskas. "We are now watching closely major developments in the energy sector that would increase demand for our high temperature stable Hectatone(TM) products such as the advancement of the ultra-deep Libra prospect off the coast of Brazil, new concessions that are being auctioned on the outer continental shelf of the US Gulf Coast, shale gas development in China, and even natural gas prices in the USA, as higher prices are expected to result in more shale gas drilling."
Western Lithium is pursuing the opportunity to be a supplier of the specialty drilling additive, hectorite clay, for the oil and gas industry, and in particular, to support the growth of high pressure high temperature, deep directional drilling applications. The Company is also developing its Kings Valley, Nevada lithium deposit into a strategic, scalable and reliable source of high quality lithium carbonate. The Company is positioning itself as a major U.S.-based supplier to support the rising global demand for lithium carbonate that is expected from the increased use of hybrid/electric vehicles.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements and Information: Certain disclosure in this release constitutes forward-looking statements and information, including in particular the timing and success of permitting applications for the commencement of commercial production and the timing and scope of commercial production itself, in respect of its proposed organoclay operations. When used in this release, the words "expects", "expected", "finalizing", "will" or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. The forward-looking statements and information in this release include, among others, the location and construction of facilities and development of hectorite based organoclay operations as well as the timing of commercial operations, the results of design and engineering of organoclay plant and the eventual construction of that plant. Such statements and information involve the application of certain factors and assumptions by the Company that are based on the Company's current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company. Although the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect, and the forward-looking statements in this release are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements and information. Such risk factors include, among others, that actual results of the Company's development activities will be different than those expected by management, that the Company will be unable to obtain or will experience delays in obtaining any required government approvals, capital needs for completion of construction and commissioning of the plant, the ability to procure required infrastructure, equipment and supplies in sufficient quantities and on a timely basis and the conditions of the markets generally. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information. The Company does not intend, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements and information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.