Enirgi Group Announces Completion of Construction and Successful Commissioning of the Separation Plant at its Lithium Processing Demonstration Facility

TORONTO, April 17, 2017 /CNW/ - Enirgi Group Corporation ("Enirgi Group") is pleased to provide an update on the progress of the engineering and construction of its commercial scale demonstration lithium carbonate processing plant (the "DXP Plant") at its flagship lithium project, the Salar del Rincón in Salta, Argentina (the "Enirgi Lithium Project") and its on-time start-up of the first section of the plant (the "Separation Plant") of the DXP Plant, which signals the end of major construction works and the beginning of commissioning.

Enirgi Group owns 100% of the Enirgi Lithium Project through its wholly-owned subsidiary ADY Resources Limited ("ADY"). The Enirgi Lithium Project's DXP Plant is designed to produce battery grade lithium carbonate directly from raw, unconcentrated brine in 24 hours eliminating the reliance on capital intensive and environmentally invasive evaporation ponds. The DXP Plant will use Enirgi Group's proprietary lithium extraction technology ("DXP Technology"), developed in-house by Enirgi Group's Innovation Division ("Enirgi Innovation") in cooperation with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation ("ANSTO").

Enirgi Lithium Project

Enirgi Group began construction of its DXP Plant on the Salar del Rincón in December 2016 to underpin our decision to build a 50,000 tonne per annum commercial facility based on Enirgi Group's proprietary DXP Technology. Previously, Enirgi Group retained SRK Consulting (U.S.), Inc. ("SRK") to summarize the definitive feasibility study in the form of a technical report prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") of the Canadian Securities Administrators (the "2016 NI 43-101 Technical Report").

A summary of the 2016 NI 43-101 Technical Report can be found by viewing Enirgi Group's news release dated July 7, 2016 on Enirgi Group's website www.enirgi.com  

Key DFS Findings

Mineral Reserve and Resource Estimates

Probable Reserves

1.2 million tonnes Lithium Carbonate Equivalent ("LCE"). (Average lithium grade 371 mg/L)

Measured and Indicated Resources

3.5 million tonnes LCE (Average lithium grade 393 mg/L)

Inferred Resources

4.8 million tonnes LCE (Average lithium grade 406 mg/L)

Capital Expenditure

Initial net capital expenditure

$720.1 million (including 8.62% contingency)

Project Economics

Ungeared After-tax 9% NPV

$1.36 billion

Ungeared After-tax IRR

30.80%

Payback period

4.13 years from start of commercial production

Mine Production

Life of Mine

24.5 years

Average annual production

50,000 tonnes LCE per annum

Total cash operating cost

$2,070 per tonne LCE for life of mine

*All amounts are in United States dollars, unless otherwise indicated. Figures are rounded.
A complete summary of the mineral resource estimate and probable reserve estimate can be found in Table 1 and Table 2, respectively, of Enirgi Group's news release dated July 7, 2016 on Enirgi Group's website www.enirgi.com  

 

Plant Start-up

Enirgi Group's Innovation Division is managing the construction and commissioning of the DXP Plant on site at Salar del Rincón.  When fully commissioned, the DXP Plant will initially produce 1 metric tonne per day of battery grade lithium carbonate.

The Separation Plant, which processes raw brine direct from the salar by removing impurities and preparing the brine for processing, is in operation after passing Site Acceptance Testing. The Separation Plant will now operate under normal commercial production conditions to collect process data required for plant optimization and will be handed over to the operations team who have been closely involved in the engineering, design and construction of the DXP Plant Facility. 

Enirgi Group's Innovation Division has practical start-up plans in place and the commissioning plan will ensure that each process is commissioned in sequence and working effectively, safely, and within specification in order to ensure a successful start-up. Wayne Richardson, President and CEO of Enirgi Group, said: "Our team has made solid progress in what is a compressed timeframe to deliver the start-up of the first section of the DXP Plant. We plan to bring additional sections on-line as we demonstrate the full lithium extraction capabilities of the technology and we are working towards sign-off from our technology partner, ANSTO, in mid-2017 completing validation of our DXP Technology in-situ and underpinning the value of our Lithium Project."

Enirgi Group's Innovation Division expects to complete full commissioning of the DXP Plant by the end of May 2017. For an up-close look at the progress being made at the Enirgi Group's Lithium Project, please visit our website at Enirgi Group's Lithium Project - Salar del Rincón, Salta, Argentina

Qualified Persons

The 2016 NI 43-101 Technical Report was authored by Qualified Persons Mr. Jerry Aiken, Registered SME, Senior Associate Geologist, SRK; Mr. Terry Braun, P.E., Principal Consultant, SRK; Mr. Tyler Cluff, P.G., Senior Hydrogeologist, SWS; Mr. Douglas Collier, Fellow AusIMM, Principal Engineer, ANSTO, Hugh D Thompson, B. Eng. (Mining), FAusIMM, Prudentia Process Consulting and Mr. Jeff Osborn, BEng Mining, MMSAQP, SRK. All persons are Qualified Persons, independent of Enirgi Group within the meaning of NI 43-101. 

The scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Mr. Terry Braun, P.E., Principal Consultant, SRK.

ABOUT ENIRGI GROUP

Enirgi Group is a privately held multinational conglomerate with six unique divisions that own and operate a portfolio of high-quality assets and operations located around the world. Enirgi Group's newly formed Advanced Materials Division is advancing the development of the Enirgi Lithium Project located in the province of Salta, Argentina. Enirgi Group is focused on developing innovative technologies to sustainably progress a number of development projects around the globe with the goal of becoming a leading low-cost, high quality producer of specialty chemicals and energy storage solutions. 

Enirgi Group is wholly-owned by Sentient Group. The Sentient Group Limited is an independent private equity investment firm specializing in the global resources industry with over $2.7 billion of assets under management in metal, mineral and energy assets across the globe.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements about Enirgi Group, the Rincón Project and its business. Forward looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are based on certain assumptions relating, but not limited to: the timing of the commissioning of the DXP Plant, future production and performance, the timing of the construction of a 50,000 tonne per annum commercial plant, resource estimates, estimated NPV, anticipated IRR, anticipated mining and processing methods for the Rincón Project, the estimated economics of the Rincón Project, anticipated lithium recoveries, production and plant capacity rates, lithium grades, estimated capital costs, operating cash costs and total production costs, construction and supply of the necessary energy required, planned additional processing work and permitting. While Enirgi Group considers these assumptions to be reasonable, based on information currently available, they may prove to be incorrect. The forward-looking statements in this news release are subject to various risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause Enirgi Group's actual results or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by forward looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, without limitation, risks related to uncertainty in the demand for lithium and pricing assumptions; uncertainties related to raising sufficient financing to fund the project in a timely manner and on acceptable terms; changes in planned work resulting from logistical, technical or other factors; labour shortages or unrest; the possibility that results of work will not fulfill expectations and realize the perceived potential of Enirgi Group's properties; uncertainties involved in the estimation of lithium reserves and resources; the possibility that required permits may not be obtained on a timely manner or at all; the possibility that capital and operating costs may be higher than currently estimated and may preclude commercial development or render operations uneconomic; the possibility that the estimated recovery rates may not be achieved; risk of accidents, equipment breakdowns and labor disputes or other unanticipated difficulties or interruptions; the possibility of cost overruns or unanticipated expenses in the work program; and risks related to projected project economics, recovery rates, and estimated NPV and anticipated IRR and other factors.

Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions and expectations of Enirgi Group's management at the time they are made, and other than as required by applicable securities laws, Enirgi Group does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions or expectations, or other circumstances, should change.

Cautionary Note Regarding Mineral Reserves and Resources

The terms "mineral reserves," "probable reserves," "inferred mineral resources," "indicated mineral resources," "measured mineral resources" and "mineral resources" used in this news release are Canadian mining terms as defined in accordance with NI 43-101 under the guidelines set out in the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (the "CIM") Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (the "CIM Standards").  The CIM Standards differ significantly from standards in the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Industry Guide 7 under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended.  While the terms "mineral resource," "measured mineral resources," "indicated mineral resources," and "inferred mineral resources" are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, they are not defined terms under SEC Industry Guide 7 and are not normally permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC.  Under United States standards, mineralization may not be classified as a reserve unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or extracted at the time the reserve determination is made.  Readers are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of measured or indicated mineral resources will ever be converted into reserves.  Further, inferred mineral resources have a greater amount of uncertainty as to their existence and as to whether they can be mined legally or economically.  It cannot be assumed that all or any part of the inferred mineral resources will ever be upgraded to a higher resource category.  Under Canadian rules, estimates of "inferred mineral resources" may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, except in rare cases.  Therefore, readers are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of the inferred mineral resources exist, or that they can be mined legally or economically. The "reserves" reported by Enirgi Group in accordance with NI 43-101 may also not qualify as "reserves" under SEC Industry Guide 7. As such, information regarding mineralization and resources contained in the news release may not be comparable to similar information made public by United States companies subject to reporting and disclosure requirements under United States federal securities laws and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.

SOURCE Enirgi Group Corporation

For further information: Enirgi Group Corporation: Jessica Helm, VP Corporate Communications, 1 Adelaide Street East, Suite 3001, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5C 2V9, P (416) 365 2783, E info@enirgi.com, W enirgi.com

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