The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Press release from Marketwire

Talison Lithium More Than Doubles Mineral Reserves and Significantly Increases Mine Life

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Talison Lithium More Than Doubles Mineral Reserves and Significantly Increases Mine Life08:45 EDT Wednesday, May 04, 2011PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - May 4, 2011) - Talison Lithium Limited (TSX:TLH) - Highlights Lithium Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves increase by 157%(1)to 31.4 million tonnes ("Mt") at a grade of 3.1% lithium oxide ("Li2O")Supports expansion of production rate to approximately 740,000 tonnes per annum lithium concentrate (approximately 110,000 tonnes per annum lithium carbonate equivalent ("LCE"))Mine life extended by 10 years to 22 years, based on lithium Mineral Reserves at the expanded production rateLife of mine strip ratio almost halved to 1.2:1 as a result of the expanded lithium Mineral ReservesAverage grade of lithium ore processed in the next 5 years expected to be above 3.3% Li2OFurther opportunities to increase lithium Mineral Reserves and extend mine life at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations in the futureTalison Lithium Limited ("Talison") (TSX:TLH) announces an update and significant increase to lithium Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves at its Greenbushes lithium operations in Western Australia (the "Greenbushes Lithium Operations") as of March 31, 2011.Peter Oliver, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The improved lithium recoveries and lower unit costs from the second stage expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations, as well as the lower strip ratio, has enabled Talison to substantially increase its lithium Mineral Reserves whilst maintaining an average grade significantly superior to other known lithium mineral projects. The increased lithium Mineral Reserves significantly extend the Greenbushes mine life, thereby providing customers with security of supply to meet the expected future growth in demand for lithium-ion batteries in the years ahead."(1) The percentage increase refers to the percentage change in tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) estimated as of March 31, 2011 from the previous estimate as of March 31, 2010. Updated lithium Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources The table below shows Talison's lithium Mineral Reserves calculated as of March 31, 2011.Greenbushes Lithium Operations - Lithium Mineral ReservesUpdate - March 31, 2011Previous - March 31, 2010CategoryTonnage (Mt)Li2O Grade (%)LCE (Mt)Tonnage (Mt)Li2O Grade (%)LCE (Mt)Proven Mineral Reserves0.23.90.020.13.90.01Probable Mineral Reserves31.33.12.389.53.90.92Total Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves31.43.12.399.63.90.93Notes:There may be some rounding errors in totals.For the updated calculation (as of March 31, 2011) a 2% Li2O cut-off grade has been applied.Proven Mineral Reserves comprises the Run of Mine and Fine Ore stockpiles. All the Probable Mineral Reserves are contained within the Indicated Mineral Resources.Mineralization was classified according to the definitions in National Instrument 43-101 and the guidelines published by the Council of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (the CIM Standards).The table below shows Talison's lithium Mineral Resources estimated as of March 31, 2011.Greenbushes Lithium Operations - Lithium Mineral ResourcesUpdate - March 31, 2011Previous - March 31, 2010CategoryTonnage (Mt)Li2O Grade (%)LCE (Mt)Tonnage (Mt)Li2O Grade (%)LCE (Mt)Measured Mineral Resources0.23.90.020.103.90.01Indicated Mineral Resources70.22.64.5521.93.72.00Total Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources70.42.64.5622.03.72.01Total Inferred Mineral Resources2.02.20.112.73.50.23Notes:There may be some rounding errors in totals.For the updated estimate (as of March 31, 2011) the lithium Mineral Resources are within lithium domains drawn at a 1% Li2O grade boundary, and above 1,000RL; and Measured Mineral Resources comprises the Run of Mine and Fine Ore stockpiles. For the previous estimate (as of March 31, 2010)the lithium Mineral Resources are within lithium domains drawn at a 2.8% Li2O grade boundary.Mineral Resource estimation was performed using Ordinary Kriging into 20mNx20mEx5mRL parent blocks, with each variable Li2O, calcium oxide (CaO), ferric oxide (Fe2O3), potassium oxide (K2O), manganese oxide (MnO), sodium oxide (Na2O), phosphorus oxide (P2O5), tin (Sn), and tantalum oxide (Ta2O5)) being estimated independently. This work was overseen by Andrew Purvis, a full-time employee of Talison, who is "Qualified Person" in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 and a "Competent Person" as defined by the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves 2004 Edition (the JORC Code).Mineral Reserves are included in Mineral Resources. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and, as such, do not have demonstrated economic viability.Mineralization was classified according to the definitions in National Instrument 43-101 and the guidelines published by the Council of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (the CIM Standards).The significant increases in the lithium Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves are a result of the in-fill drilling program that was completed in early 2011 and the production efficiencies from the expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations.In Talison's previous estimate of lithium Mineral Resources, the majority of the Mineral Resources were adjacent to the C3 and C1 pits at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations. The recent drilling program focused on increasing the drill density in the C1 and C2 pits to upgrade the lithium Mineral Resources and improve the conversion of lithium Mineral Resources to lithium Mineral Reserves. The drilling program also improved the confidence levels in the resource block model.Talison has revised the pit design, mining schedule and processing schedule for the Greenbushes Lithium Operations on the basis of the updated lithium Mineral Reserves. The revised pit design will result in the C1, C2 and C3 pits being joined into one continuous pit over the life of mine, and the revised mining schedule will focus on mining in the C3 pit in the early years. Based on the revised processing schedule, during the next 5 years the average grade of lithium ore processed is expected to be above 3.3%Li2O.The improvements in the lithium Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves will support the second stage expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations to a total expected production capacity of approximately 740,000 tonnes per annum lithium concentrate (approximately 110,000 tonnes per annum LCE). At the expanded production rate, the mine life will be extended by 10 years to 22 years based on the lithium Mineral Reserves. The life of mine strip ratio will also improve from 2.2:1 to 1.2:1.Talison has been mining and processing lithium at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations for over 25 years and has completed several successful expansions during that time. The second stage expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations will utilize Talison's current technology and processing experience in a new, purpose built, large scale production facility. The production efficiencies from the expansion, as well as the lower strip ratio, will allow Talison to profitably process lower grade lithium ore, thereby significantly extending the Greenbushes mine life.The lithium Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources estimated as of March 31, 2011 represent a 127% increase in tonnes of contained LCE over the lithium Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources estimated as of March 31, 2010. Likewise, the lithium Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves calculated as of March 31, 2011 represent a 157% increase in contained LCE over the lithium Proven and Probable Mineral Reserve estimated as of March 31, 2010. As the orebody remains open both along strike and at depth, further opportunities exist to increase lithium Mineral Reserves and increase production and extend mine life at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations in the future.Talison does not consider that the estimate of lithium Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves will be materially affected by any known environmental, permitting, title, mining, infrastructure or metallurgical issues. For further information refer to the technical report in respect of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations titled "Greenbushes Lithium Operations, Located in Western Australia – Australia" dated July 26, 2010, a copy of which can be found on Talison's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. NI 43-101 - Technical ReportA National Instrument 43-101 compliant technical report with respect to the update of Talison's lithium Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of the date of this press release. Readers are cautioned not to rely solely on the summary of the updated lithium Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves contained in this press release, but should read the new technical report regarding the Greenbushes Lithium Operations when it becomes available on SEDAR.The updated lithium Mineral Resource estimates were prepared by Mr. Scott Jackson (BSc (Hons), CFSG, MAusIMM, MAIG), Director and Principal Consultant, of Quantitative Group Pty Ltd ("Quantitative Group") of Perth, Western Australia, in accordance with the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves 2004 Edition (the JORC Code), which is comparable with the requirements of National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects of the Canadian Securities Administrators. Quantitative Group undertook statistical analysis, block estimation, validation and classification of the Mineral Resource, constructed the Mineral Resource block model and reviewed the QA/QC data. The Quantitative Group work was undertaken or supervised by Mr. Jackson, who also reviewed data collection and data quality. Mr. Jackson is independent of Talison and a "Qualified Person" in accordance with National Instrument 43-101.The updated lithium Mineral Reserves were prepared by Messrs. Andrew Purvis (BSc (Hons), MSc, MAusIMM), General Manager Geology, Talison, and Stephen Green (B. Eng,MAusIMM), Manager, Mining and Environment at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations each of whom is a full-time employee of Talison and a "Qualified Person" in accordance with National Instrument 43-101. The lithium Mineral Reserves were calculated based on a 2% Li2O cut-off grade and the costs and recoveries for the second stage expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations. The updated lithium Mineral Reserve calculations were reviewed by Mr. Peter Ingham (MSc, BSc, FAusIMM, MIMMM, Cen), General Manager Mining, of Behre Dolbear Australia Pty Ltd. Mr. Ingham is independent of Talison and a "Qualified Person" in accordance with National Instrument 43-101.Scientific and technical information in this press release was reviewed by Andrew Purvis, General Manager Geology, Talison. Third Quarter 2011 Financial ResultsTalison will release its financial results for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2011 prior to the opening of the market on Thursday, May 12, 2011.Peter Oliver, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Talison will host a conference call on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. EDT (6:00 a.m. PDT) to discuss the results.Teleconference and replay call details will be distributed in conjunction with the financial results. About TalisonTalison is a leading global producer of lithium. Talison mines and processes the lithium bearing mineral spodumene at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations in Western Australia. In addition, Talison explores for lithium at the Salares 7 lithium project made up of seven salars located in Chile. Talison has an extensive, well established global customer network and a leading position in the growing Chinese market.Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking StatementsCertain information contained in this press release, including any information as to Talison's mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates, strategy, projects, plans, prospects, future outlook, anticipated events or results or future financial or operating performance, may constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, constitute forward-looking information. Forward-looking information can often, but not always, be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", "predicts", "potential", "continue" or "believes", or variations (including negative variations) of such words, or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "should", "might", "potential to", or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved or other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The purpose of forward-looking information is to provide the reader with information about management's expectations and plans. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. All forward-looking statements made or incorporated in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements.Forward-looking statements are necessarily based on a number of factors, estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Talison, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Such factors, estimates and assumptions include, but are not limited to: anticipated financial and operating performance of Talison, its subsidiaries and their respective projects; Talison's market position; future prices of lithium or lithium concentrates; estimation of mineral reserves and mineral resources; realization of mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates; timing, amount and costs of estimated future production; grade, quality and content of concentrate produced; sale of production; capital, operating and exploration expenditures; costs and timing of the expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations; exploration and development of the Salares 7 lithium project; costs and timing of future exploration; requirements for additional capital; government regulation of exploration, development and mining operations; environmental risks; reclamation and rehabilitation expenses; title disputes or claims; absence of significant risks relating to Talison's mining operations; the costs of Talison's hedging policy; sales risks related to China; currency; interest rates, and limitations of insurance coverage. While Talison considers these factors, estimates and assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect and actual results may vary. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Talison and/or its subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such risk factors include, amount others, those described in the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements of Talison and the related notes thereto as at and for the three and six month interim periods ended December 31, 2010 dated February 10, 2011 and under the heading "Risk Factors" in the annual information form of Talison for the year ended June 30, 2010 dated January 12, 2011, each of which can be found on Talison's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. While Talison considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect and actual results may vary.Although Talison has attempted to identify statements containing important factors that could cause actual actions, event or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended. Forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date of this press release based on the opinions and estimates of management on the date statements containing such forward-looking information are made. Except as required by law, Talison disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, estimates or opinions, future events or results or otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Todd HilditchTalison Lithium LimitedInvestor Relations Director604 443 3831Todd.Hilditch@talisonlithium.comwww.talisonlithium.com