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Rodinia drills Argentina Lithium Production Well

February 8th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningRodinia Lithium Inc TSXV:RM announced initial production well drilling on its Salar de Diablillos Lithium Brine Project in Salta Province, Argentina. The well is to be drilled near a 120-metre hole that previously showed average intersections of 713 mg/L lithium, 9,000 mg/L potassium and 543 mg/L boron.

The production well is designed to evaluate the range of pumping rates, well efficiencies and drawdown/recharge characteristics of the middle and lower aquifers during a long-term, high-volume pump test. The 10-to-15-day pump test will provide engineering data for a feasibility study.

President/CEO William Randall tells, “We’re trying to complete the feasibility study this year. We want to demonstrate that we can produce at production levels for a 15,000- or 25,000-tonne-per-year plant and, on the processing side, show that we can actually achieve the high recoveries that we got at the lab, as well as harvest the potash and boric acid byproducts.

We have a great project with an NPV up to $1 billion but a market cap of less than $25 million, so there’s a big disconnect there—William Randall

“We also have the Clayton Valley Project in Nevada. It’s the only US project that has lithium brine, and we control 70% of it.

“Demand for lithium has definitely increased,” he points out. “Over the last four or five months the current big three producers of lithium have raised their prices by 20% because of demand. They can’t increase supply or not easily. Demand will continue to increase as electric vehicles are adopted and grid storage expands.

“We have offtake possibilities with Shanshan Enterprise. They have five plants in China that produce anodes and cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. They don’t assemble the batteries, but they’re the ones that actually use the lithium carbonate. There are also other parties in Korea and Japan that are interested in our products,” he adds.

“Our company is part of Forbes & Manhattan. With them, we have a team of 150 geologists, engineers, lawyers and accountants. What we do is take assets from this stage and into production. That’s clearly the direction we’re headed. That being said, if the right offer comes at the right time, we’ll certainly look at it.

“Lithium is a space that has a lot of upside, especially with lithium batteries becoming the norm for electric vehicles and grid storage,” Randall explains. “Within the emerging companies, our stock right now is massively undervalued. We have a great project with an NPV up to $1 billion but a market cap of less than $25 million, so there’s a big disconnect there. In addition to very robust PEA numbers, we also have intangibles. Our projects are in a very, very safe mining jurisdiction in Argentina and in Nevada. We don’t share our assets with any other lithium producers or explorers. Our base in Argentina doesn’t have native communities, so we don’t affect their water, grazing ground or other aspects of their communities. So those are advantages that will help this project move forward at a very rapid pace.”

Randall concludes, “Our PEA shows the lowest capex per tonne and operating costs of all the PEAs and feasibility studies in the lithium brine space. In fact, our operating costs could be cash-negative because of our byproducts. We could pay off all our costs and actually make a bit of a profit just with our potash and boric acid, allowing us to basically stockpile lithium carbonate if we need to.”

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Aaron Wolfe
VP of Corporate Development

by Greg Klein