Texas Mineral Resources to Establish Lithium Subsidiary to Market Round Top Lithium
— Independent laboratory tests suggest potential of 9,000 tons per year of lithium carbonate from Round Top at full scale production
— 2013 PEA suggests 100+ year Round Top mine life
— Current lithium carbonate pricing at $7500/ton
Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (TMRC), an exploration company targeting the heavy rare earths and a variety of other high-value elements and industrial minerals, in response to lithium industry inquiries, plans to establish a separate lithium subsidiary to market the lithium potentially produced from its poly-metallic Round Top long-life deposit. A separate lithium subsidiary is an appropriate vehicle as we evaluate strategic alliances or joint venture opportunities with processors, producers and end-users.
Column leach tests were conducted by Resource Development Inc (RDI) of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, an independent laboratory testing company which provides technical and consulting services to the international mining industry. Round Top rhyolite crushed to ½ inch and leached at room temperature in 75 g/l sulfuric acid strength columns for 60 days yielded potentially economic amounts of lithium (Li) with an ore grade of 400 ppm and a 58.5% extraction rate.
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At these recoveries, and assuming a 20,000 tpd (tonnes per day) operation as envisioned in the 2013 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), recoveries of as much as 9,000 tons per year of lithium carbonate are suggested. Additionally, the 2013 PEA was based on a 20-year mine life while only using 18% of the resource, suggesting a potential overall mine life in excess of 100 years.
Dan Gorski, CEO, commented: “We believe that Round Top can be a stable, long-term domestic supply of lithium. The formation of a lithium marketing subsidiary is an integral part of our plans to realize the potential of the non-rare earth elements that are leached from the Round Top rock. Potentially producing and marketing lithium significantly de-risks project economics and adds a potentially significant source of long-term revenue.”
Anthony Marchese, Chairman, further stated: “Apart from growing global demand, U.S. lithium production is already a story of rapidly rising demand chasing limited supply. Round Top lithium could help meet the needs of the EV and energy storage industries at a critical moment in their development. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the U.S. is presently import-dependent for virtually all domestic lithium consumed each year.”
Global Lithium Demand
While the lithium industry is extensive, the real growth is in batteries. The most important growth areas are in transportation (electric vehicle batteries) and renewable energy (grid storage). Goldman Sachs, in a December 2015 research report, has called lithium “the new gasoline.” Goldman Sachs believes growth in the electric vehicle market alone could triple the size of the lithium market from 160,000 tons today to 470,000 tons by 2025. According to Credit Suisse, demand for lithium could outstrip supply in 2020 by 25%. At that point, the world is expected to need over 380,000 tons of lithium (reported as lithium carbonate equivalent or “LCE”). Considering the demand was approximately 190,000 tons in 2014, that is over 100% growth over a six year period.
About Texas Mineral Resources Corp.
Texas Mineral Resources Corp.’s primary focus is exploring and, if warranted, developing its Round Top heavy rare earth and industrial minerals project located in Hudspeth County, Texas, 85 miles east of El Paso. The Company’s common stock trades on the OTCQX U.S. tier under the symbol “TMRC.”
The PEA referenced herein is not a feasibility study and there are no known proven or probable reserves at the Round Top project under SEC Industry Guide 7. The mine plan and mine economics presented in the PEA are preliminary in nature and may not reflect actual mine production and costs if the Company determines to develop the Round Top project. The projected annual Lithium production numbers and mine life are based on preliminary laboratory testing and mine plan economics, investors are cautioned that such results may not be indicative of up-scaled mining operations and the economic viability of the Round Top project.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including, but not limited to, statements recovery rates of lithium from the Round Top leach solution being indicative of production potential, potential development and production of lithium at Round Top, potential production rates and mining costs, potential revenue streams from such production, anticipated production methods and results, anticipated mine life at Round Top, potentila production of lithium de-risking project economics, Round Top being a stable, long-term supply of Lithium, projected increased demand in the Lithium market and other similar statements. When used in this press release, the words “potential,” “indicate,” “expect,” “intend,” “hopes,” “believe,” “may,” “will,” “if, “anticipate,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Such factors include, among others, risks related to the development of the Round Top project, up-scaling of extraction testing, risks related to changes in future operating costs and working capital balance, risks related to mining results not matching preliminary tests and risks related to the ability of TRER to raise adequate working capital and continue as a going concern, as well as those factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s latest annual report on Form 10-K, as filed on November 30, 2015, and other documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements.
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