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Press release from Marketwire

Talison Lithium Reports Fiscal Q4 and Fiscal Year 2011 Results

Monday, September 12, 2011

Talison Lithium Reports Fiscal Q4 and Fiscal Year 2011 Results06:00 EDT Monday, September 12, 2011PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2011) - Talison Lithium Limited ("Talison" or the "Company") (TSX:TLH) today announced results for the fiscal fourth quarter 2011 and fiscal year 2011. Operational Highlights Construction of the Stage 2 expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations continued during the quarter on time and on budget. During the quarter, Talison announced updated lithium mineral resources and reserves for the Greenbushes Lithium Operations as of March 31, 2011. Total lithium proven and probable mineral reserves increased by 157% (measured on the basis of total tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent ("LCE") and mine life of the Greenbushes Lithium Operation was extended to 22 years. The first drill program at two of the seven salars that comprise the Salares 7 Project in Chile was completed during the quarter with highly encouraging results. Price increases of up to 25% were announced by two of the three other major lithium producers late in the fourth quarter. Talison believes the price increases are indicative of a tightening in lithium supply while global demand remains strong. Production and sales volumes for the fiscal year 2011 of 342,097 tonnes and 339,501 tonnes of lithium concentrates, respectively (approximately 51,000 tonnes LCE and 50,000 tonnes LCE, respectively), representing a 30% and 32% increase year over year. Operating cost per tonne reduced by 12% for fiscal year 2011 as a result of an increase in plant yields. Financial Highlights for the Fiscal Year 2011 Earnings before interest, income tax, and depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") of A$24.1 million on revenues of A$109.5 million, representing a 29% and a 35% increase respectively, over the 2010 fiscal year1.Operating cashflow of A$22.3 million, an increase of A$15.4 million year over year. Net profit after tax of A$22.9 million. Basic earnings per share was A$0.257. Cash and cash equivalents as at June 30, 2011 of A$102.6 million.1The term "EBITDA" is a non-IFRS financial measure. For further information and a reconciliation of EBITDA to its IFRS- compliant income statement, refer to "Non-IFRS Performance Measures" in Management's Discussion and Analysis of the financial condition and results of operations of Talison Lithium Limited as at June 30, 2011 and for the three and twelve month periods ended June 30, 2011 (which can be found on Talison's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com). Fourth Quarter Financial Results Talison generated revenue of A$26.4 million in the quarter. In US$ terms, sales revenue was 8% higher than Q4 fiscal year 2010 however, in A$ terms sales revenue decreased 11% q/q as a result of the adverse impact of a 21% increase in the value of the A$ against the US$ between the two periods.The Company realized an average sales price ("ASP") per tonne of lithium concentrate of US$302, above of Q4 fiscal year 2010 ASP of US$298.Talison sold 92,416 tonnes of lithium concentrate during the quarter, a 5% increase over Q4 fiscal year 2010. Production volume increased 25% q/q as the Company realized the full benefits of the completion of its Stage 1 capacity expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations.Cash cost of goods sold was A$17.0 million, down 18% qq. This figure equates to a cash gross margin of 36%. Cash cost of goods sold decreased as Talison realized economies of scale as it increased production capacity. Furthermore, the Company implemented processing efficiency initiatives that resulted in a 15% improvement in yield.EBITDA was A$5.8 million, steady at 22% of revenue. EBITDA declined 8% q/q as a result of a 21% increase in the value of the A$ against the US$, offset by an increase in sales volumes and a reduction in operating costs.The table below summarizes the company's key financial metrics for FQ4 2011.Fiscal Q4 2011 Results Summary(In A$'000 unless noted otherwise)Q4 11ChangeQ4 10Sales Volume (tonnes lithiumconcentrate)92,4165%88,208US$ ASP3021%298Revenue$26,412-11%$29,655Cash COGS$16,977-18%$20,579Cash Gross Margin36%31%COGS/tonne$184-21%$234EBITDA$5,755-8%$6,270EBITDA Margin22%21%Net Income$7,891-$34,426EPS$0.07-$1.12Shares108,11130,367 Fiscal 2011 Financial Results Talison generated revenue of A$109.5 million for the year, an increase of 35% compared to fiscal year 2010. The revenue growth reflects both volume growth and better realized pricing. The Company sold 339,501 tonnes of lithium concentrate, a 32% y/y increase. Volume grew as Talison realized the benefits of the completion of its Stage 1 capacity expansion. The Company realized an average sales price per tonne of US$308, a 10% increase from the ASP of US$281 in fiscal year 2010. Revenue was impacted negatively by the 12% increase in the value of the A$ against the US$.Cash cost of goods sold was A$70.6 million, up 22% as a result of the increase in sales volume and 12% reduction in operating costs per tonne lithium concentrate sold. This figure equates to a cash gross margin of 36%, a significant improvement over the cash gross margin of 29% realized in 2010. Gross margin improved due to economies of scale resulting from the ramp up of the Stage 1 capacity expansion. Additionally, processing efficiency initiatives resulted in a 10% improvement in yield.EBITDA was A$24.1 million, steady at 22% of revenue. EBITDA expanded 29% y/y, due to both sales growth and improved gross margin, offset by an increase in the A$/US$ exchange rate and non-recurring reorganization costs.The table below summarizes the company's key financial metrics for fiscal 2011.Annual Results Summary(In A$'000 unless noted otherwise)2011Change2010Sales Volume (tonnes lithiumconcentrate)339,50132%256,767US$ ASP30810%281Revenue$109,50135%$81,278Cash COGS$70,61622%$58,064Cash Gross Margin36%29%COGS/tonne$200-12%$226EBITDA$24,06629%$18,661EBITDA Margin22%23.0%Net Income$22,936-$34,426EPS$0.26-$1.13Shares89,32230,367 Fourth Quarter Operations During the quarter, Talison made significant progress in a number of key operational areas. The Company continued expansion of the production facilities at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations, advanced efforts on its mineral conversion plant, and reported positive exploratory results at the Salares 7 project in Chile. The Company also reported updated lithium mineral reserves at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations.Talison is doubling its capacity to produce lithium concentrate to 740,000 tonnes per year with the Stage 2 expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations. Talison will ultimately spend A$65 to A$70 million to complete this project, which should commence operations in the fiscal fourth quarter 2012. Construction remains on budget and on time. During the quarter, bulk earthworks were completed, the majority of foundations laid, and construction progressed on the final product stockpile area.Talison is aggressively pursuing its proposed plant to convert lithium minerals into lithium carbonate ("Minerals Conversion Plant"). Preliminary engineering and location studies for the proposed Minerals Conversion Plant commenced, with the location study evaluating several Western Australian locations, including at Greenbushes, and one overseas location. External engineering and environmental consultants were appointed to contribute to the preliminary studies. Discussions with potential customers regarding future lithium carbonate requirements are also underway. Talison is receiving considerable encouragement to expedite the development of the Minerals Conversion Plant.During the quarter, Talison completed the first drill program at two of the seven salars that comprise the Salares 7 Project in Chile. The program consisted of initial shallow reconnaissance drilling at Salar de la Isla and Salar de Las Parinas. Initial results are highly encouraging.Brine analyses at Salar de la Isla indicate:Lithium of up to 1,080 milligrams per liter ("mg/l") lithium, with an average of 863 mg/l; and Potassium of up to 9,830 mg/l, with an average of 7,979 mg/l Brine analyses at Salar de Las Parinas indicate:Lithium of up to 480 mg/l, with an average of 331 mg/l; and Potassium of up to 8,210 mg/l, with an average of 5,650 mg/l During the quarter, Talison announced updated lithium mineral resources and reserves for the Greenbushes Lithium Operations as of March 31, 2011. Total lithium proven and probable mineral reserves increased by 157% (measured on the basis of total tonnes of contained LCE) and mine life of the Greenbushes Lithium Operation was extended to 22 years. Talison believes there will be further opportunities to increase lithium mineral reserves and extend mine life at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations in the future. Fiscal 2012 Outlook Talison expects production of lithium concentrate in fiscal Q1 2012 to be in-line with that of fiscal Q4 2011. The Company expects sales of lithium concentrate to match production. Price increases of up to 25% were announced by two other major lithium producers late in our fiscal fourth quarter. Talison secured price increases for two shipments in fiscal Q1 2012 and believes the price increases are indicative of a tightening in lithium supply while global demand remains strong.During fiscal 2012, Talison expects demand to remain strong for both technical-grade and chemical-grade lithium concentrate, and that it will produce and sell at capacity. Capacity is expected to remain constrained until commissioning of the Stage 2 expansion in fiscal Q4 2012. Because the commissioning should occur late in the year, the additional capacity will not impact sales until fiscal 2013. However, the full year of contribution from the Stage 1 Expansion, combined with anticipated process improvements, should enable full year 2012 sales to equate to fiscal Q4 2011 sales on an annualized basis. Fourth Quarter Financial Results Conference Call Talison will host a conference call to discuss the financial results on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The call is being webcast by Thomson Reuters and can be accessed at www.earnings.com or at Talison's website, www.talisonlithium.com. Teleconference call details are as follows: North America: +1 (800) 295-4740 International: +1 (617) 614-3925 Participant Code: 56641749 Chairperson: Peter Oliver, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director ReplayAvailable from: September 12, 2011, 12:30 PM EST Available to: September 20, 2011 Dial In: +1 (888) 286-8010 International: +1 (617) 801-6888 Passcode: 69190363 About Talison Talison 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 (brine lakes and surrounding concessions) located in Region III, Chile. Talison has an extensive, well established global customer network and a leading position in the growing Chinese market.1Information in this press release is in relation to the financial condition and results of operations of Talison Lithium Limited ("Talison" or the "Company") as at June 30, 2011 and for the year ended June 30, 2011. This press release should be read in conjunction with the Audited Annual Report of Talison and the related notes thereto as at June 30, 2011 and for the year ended June 30, 2011 (collectively, the "Financial Statements"). The financial information contained in this press release is derived from the Financial Statements, which were prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Stand ards ("IFRS"). All amounts in this press release are expressed in Australian dollars ("A$") unless otherwise identified. References to "C$" are to Canadian dollars and references to "US$" are to United States dollars.Prior to acquiring the Greenbushes Lithium Operations on August 12, 2010, Talison was a dormant entity and did not trade in any capacity. However, the acquisition of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations has been determined to be a common control transaction which the Company has elected to account for on a continuity of interest basis. While continuity of interest accounting is not required by IFRS, it is also not prohibited by IFRS. Continuity of interest accounting is common practice under Canadian generally accepted accounting principles for such transactions. As a result of Talison's election to use continuing of interest accounting, the results of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations prior to the date the Company acquired the Greenbushes Lithium Operations (being, from July 1, 2010 to August 11, 2010) have been included in the Financial Statements. In addition, the Financial Statements include as comparatives the results of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations for the three and nine month periods ended March 31, 2010. The results of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations prior to August 12, 2010 have been extracted from the group financial statements of Talison Minerals Pty Ltd ("Talison Minerals"), which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Talison on August 12, 2010.Readers of this press release are cautioned that certain statements in this press release may relate solely to the debt and capital structure of Talison Minerals before Talison acquired the Greenbushes Lithium Operations by acquiring Talison Minerals on August 12, 2010 in connection with a substantial debt and equity restructuring of Talison Minerals and may be of no consequence to the ongoing operations of Talison. For further information refer to Management's Discussion and Analysis of the financial condition and results of operations of Talison Lithium Limited as at and for the interim period ended June 30, 2011 (which can be found on Talison's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com).2The term "EBITDA" is a non-IFRS financial measure. For a reconciliation of EBITDA to its IFRS-compliant income statement, refer to "Non-IFRS Performance Measures" in Management's Discussion and Analysis of the financial condition and results of operations of Talison Lithium Limited as at June 30, 2011 and for the year ended June 30, 2011 (which can be found on Talison's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com). 3The 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)Li2OGrade(%)LCE(Mt)Tonnage(Mt)Li2OGrade(%)LCE(Mt)Proven Mineral Reserves0.23.90.020.13.90.01Probable Mineral Reserves31.33.12.389.53.90.92Total Proven and Probable Mineral2.399.63.90.93Reserves31.43.1Notes:(1) There may be some rounding errors in totals.(2) For the updated calculation (as of March 31, 2011) a 2% Li2O cut-off grade has been applied.(3) Proven Mineral Reserves comprises the Run of Mine and Fine Ore stockpiles. All the Probable Mineral Reserves are contained within the Indicated Mineral Resources. (4) 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 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.Financial StatementsINCOME STATEMENTThree MonthsEndedJune 30, 2011(Unaudited)A$'000Three MonthsEndedJune 30, 2010(Unaudited)(1)A$'000Twelve MonthsEndedJune 30, 2011(Audited)(1)A$'000Twelve MonthsEndedJune 30, 2010(Audited)(1) A$'000Twelve MonthsEndedJune 30, 2009 (Audited)(1) A$'000Sales revenue26,41229,655109,50181,27876,940Operating costs(16,977)(20,579)(70,616)(58,064)(54,357)Other income / (expenses)(3,680)(2,806)(14,819)(4,553)(4,467)EBITDA(3)5,7556,27024,066(2)18,66118,116Depreciation and amortization(636)(752)(3,428)(2,646)(2,178)Net realized USD hedging gain1,4731,0642,9791,670(3,404)Net financing income / (costs)949(2,094)(2,401)(14,022)(12,776)Net realized foreign exchange gain / (loss)(1,375)-7,561--Net fair value adjustments on financialassets and liabilities1,803(8,667)4,6643,982(15,204)Effective interest on convertible preferredshares-(2,956)(1,397)(11,480)(9,163)Income tax (expense) / benefit(78)(26,990)(9,108)(30,591)4,438Net profit/(loss) for the period7,891(34,125)22,936(34,426)(20,171)Basic earnings per share (cents/share)(4)7.3(112.0)25.7(113.4)(78.1)Diluted earnings per share (cents/share)(4)7.1(112.0)24.9(113.4)(78.1)Basic weighted average number of shares108,110,92830,467,69289,321,87130,366,96825,838,235Notes:The financial results for the twelve months ended June 30, 2011 are comprised of the audited results of Talison for the period from August 12, 2010 to June 30, 2011 (i.e., post-Reorganization) and the carve-out audited results of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations for the period from July 1, 2010 to August 11, 2010 (i.e., pre-Reorganization). The unaudited results for the three months ended and audited results for the twelve months ended June 30, 2010 and twelve months ended June 30, 2009 are comprised of the carve-out results of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations. Readers are cautioned that the results for the period from July 1, 2010 to August 11, 2010, from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 and from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009 may not be reflective of the ongoing affairs of Talison. EBITDA for the twelve months ended June 30, 2011 included A$1.6 million in non-recurring Reorganization costs. Excluding these costs the EBITDA result was $25.7 million, reflecting a 38% improvement over the prior year. EBITDA is a non IFRS financial measure. For a reconciliation of EBITDA to its IFRS compliant income statement, see "Non-IFRS Performance Measures". Basic and diluted earnings per share have been calculated based on the weighted average number of shares on issue. For the three month period ended June 30, 2011, the weighted average number of shares includes both the outstanding ordinary shares of Talison adjusted to remove ordinary shares held by the Talison Long Term Incentive Plan Trust which is consolidated under IFRS, and the exchangeable shares of Talison Lithium Exchangeco Limited, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Talison that are exchangeable (on a one-for-one basis) for ordinary shares of Talison. For the twelve month period ended June 30, 2011, the weighted average number of shares includes the outstanding ordinary shares of Talison adjusted to remove ordinary shares held by the Talison Long Term Incentive Plan Trust which is consolidated under IFRS, the exchangeable shares of Talison Lithium Exchangeco Limited that are exchangeable (on a one-for-one basis) for ordinary shares of Talison, and the ordinary shares of Talison Minerals adjusted for the Talison Minerals share consolidation which occurred as part of the Reorganization. For the three and twelve month periods ended June 30, 2010 and the twelve month period ended June 30, 2011 the weighted average number of shares includes the ordinary shares of Talison Minerals adjusted for the Talison Minerals share consolidation which occurred as part of the Reorganization. See "Outstanding Share Data".STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITIONAs atJune 30, 2011(Audited)A$'000As atJune 30, 2010(Audited)A$'000As atJune 30, 2009(Audited)A$'000AssetsCash and cash equivalents102,6051,4007,174Trade and other receivables21,54315,6922,520Inventories11,18210,0918,055Other assets10,2051,8862,949Deferred tax assets--20,630Property, plant and equipment95,21570,51162,489Exploration and evaluation assets61,714--Total assets302,46499,580103,817LiabilitiesTrade and other payables12,3809,3357,309Interest-bearing liabilities29,243149,112136,952Provisions14,66812,63911,417Deferred tax liabilities10,6224,272-Total liabilities66,913175,358155,678Shareholders' equity235,551(75,778)(51,861)Outstanding number of sharesOrdinary shares of Talison110,527,347121,017,991(1)114,668,988(1)Exchangeable shares of Talison Lithium Exchangeco Limited1,494,239(2)--Shares held in trust(4,299,367)(3)--Total outstanding number of shares107,722,219121,017,991114,668,988Notes:The outstanding ordinary shares as at June 30, 2010 and June 30, 2009 are the ordinary shares of Talison Minerals. The 1,494,239 exchangeable shares of Talison Lithium Exchangeco Limited are exchangeable (on a one-for-one basis) for ordinary shares of Talison. See "Outstanding Share Data". On June 7, 2011, Talison Lithium established the Incentive Plan Trust. Talison Lithium issued 3,862,767 ordinary shares to the Incentive Plan Trust and the Incentive Plan Trust purchased 436,600 ordinary shares of Talison Lithium on-market. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements Certain 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 Financial Statements 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: Gary DvorchakTalison Lithium LimitedCFA+1 (310) 954-1123