CALGARY, AB, Jan. 11, 2023 /CNW/ – (TSXV: GRD) (OTCQB: GRDAF) – Grounded Lithium Corp. (“GLC” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide a summary of our 2022 operational and financial achievements in addition to providing our forecasted 2023 activities, dependant upon market conditions.
2022 represented a monumental year for the Company. Entering 2022, we were a private company with a small team, owned a small land base and had a modest treasury. We achieved a significant number of critical accomplishments during 2022, building a solid foundation from which to grow our business on multiple fronts and unlock further value. Significant 2022 achievements and their respective importance are detailed below:
- Strategic Land Base – Over the course of 2022, we increased our land base greater than four-fold with a current total land position of just over 300 sections exiting the calendar year. This land base is expected to be sufficient to support several 20,000 tonne/yr lithium from brine projects. Each 20,000 tonne/yr project represents a significant value proposition for our shareholders;
- Successful Test Well Drilled – We successfully drilled and completed only the second ever dedicated lithium test well in the province of Saskatchewan. The well’s design served multi-faceted objectives: (1) it confirmed the Company’s ability to secure appropriate services and drill wells with a very modest capital intensity due to the shallow nature in our area, (2) it confirmed lithium concentrations in our chosen geologic area, and (3) it confirmed economic deliverability or productivity rates of wells in the area. This well’s design allows easy conversion to a producing well for both a commercial demonstration facility and ultimately for commercial operations, thereby leveraging drilling and completion capital spent to date;
- Proved Deliverability – An extremely critical component in establishing an economic lithium from brine project is deliverability of the individual wells. We confirmed a potential substantial productivity rate of up to 29,000 bbls/d via the completion of our first test well. Based on prudent reservoir management practices, we expect to restrict this rate to 18,000 bbls/d to help ensure deliverability for decades. A critical conclusion of these efforts is that we likely only require one well per section, and in some cases possibly two wells per section, to contribute to a 20,000 tonne/yr project. In other words, as few as 50-75 sections are needed to support such a target. With a land base of over 300 sections, we believe even on a risked basis, GLC has sufficient land holdings to support multiple 20,000 tonne/yr projects
- Public Listing – The Company not only achieved a public listing on the TSX Venture Exchange but also successfully achieved a trading quotation on the OTCQB Venture Market. With access to trading both in Canada and the United States, the Company hopes to have greater access to capital at a lower cost;
- Focused Approach to Resource Capture – Right from the outset, our strategy was to target very select properties, whereby each and every acquired section will contribute to supporting a project. Our view was to not simply acquire land for the purpose of reporting a large land position. With our targeted approach and with significant rigour brought to bear in terms of resource assessment, our inaugural National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101“) Technical Report effective April 15, 2022 assessed our Kindersley Lithium Project at 2.9 million tonnes of inferred lithium carbonate resource. Our updated NI 43-101 Technical Report effective November 30, 2022, which was prepared by certain “qualified persons” (as defined in NI 43-101) employed by Sproule Associates Limited, an industry leader in sedimentary basis fluid dynamic assessments, reported an increase of 28% to 3.7 million tonnes of inferred lithium carbonate resource. This bodes well in terms of our land position supporting multiple lithium from brine projects;
- Engagement of Hatch Ltd – In October 2022, we executed a DLE Testwork Support & Evaluation contract with Hatch Ltd. (“Hatch“) to select the preferred extraction technology for our chemistry of brine. We also engaged an internal engineering consultant with experience in Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE“) to support the direction of Hatch’s technical efforts. This overall approach is consistent with our strategy to concentrate our efforts on resource development where we have a history of success, while leveraging the time and capital of others who are experts in the technology sector. In partnership with Hatch, we targeted a short-list of four technologies to assess and expect to determine our preferred DLE methodology by the end of the second quarter of 2023;
- Working Capital Secured – We were successful in raising multiple rounds of financing, all at accretive prices to the prior round throughout the course of 2022. This resulted in a well capitalized Company with sufficient working capital to address near term catalysts. With a purposely designed conservative capital structure combined with a compelling value proposition, we believe future fundraisings will both be available and accretive; and
- Cohesive and Competent Team – We established the core team which we believe will lead the Company to one or more commercial projects. Additional team members will be onboarded in the future at the appropriate time as we continue to execute our business plan.
While we advanced our business and value proposition significantly since incorporation, particularly during 2022, we understand there is much to accomplish in the coming years to attain our vision of becoming a leading Canadian lithium producer. Milestones planned to drive the business forward during 2023 include:
- Selection of a Chosen DLE Technology – As mentioned above, our engagement of Hatch will fast-track the DLE technology selection process which we expect to conclude by the end of the second quarter of 2023. This analysis and selection will run in parallel in the preparation of a preliminary economic assessment (“PEA“). While we concentrate on our own efforts, several industry peers in the industry continue driving towards the identical goal. When one or more industry participants demonstrate success in achieving a commercial DLE technology, it is anticipated that such an event will lift the entire sector;
- PEA – A number of corporate personnel as well as external advisors continue to be extremely focused on the completion of the Company’s maiden PEA on the Kindersley Lithium Project (“KLP“). Our PEA is expected to benefit from our 3-dimensional dynamic flow model, where we predict optimal plans for producing the resource. The PEA is expected to provide an independent view of the economics and value proposition of the KLP. PEA’s have historically been important in providing support for an increase in a company’s public valuation;
- Lab Pilot Results – Given the Company’s stated strategy of relying on other experts for a chosen DLE technology, we expect to have results by Q2 2023 from 3rd party lab pilots at a cost substantially less than we would otherwise incur by constructing and operating our own lab. Through our work with Hatch, lab extraction testing on the short-list of technology candidates will conclude during the first and second quarters of 2023. Brine feedstock or product from the completion of our first well is securely stored and available to conduct these tests as needed;
- Funding – The Company will be assessing all forms of capital, ranging from traditional equity sources to non-dilutive government funding. Capital of any form will assist in advancing the value proposition of the Company; and
- Engineering Design and Construction of Commercial Demonstration Facility (“CDF”) – Should the Company move successfully through the milestones stated above, we would quickly move to the design and construction of an appropriately sized CDF. Operating results from the CDF would provide sufficient data to determine if a full-scale operation is economically and commercially attractive. The Company forecasts to commission a CDF by H1 2024 with design, engineering and construction potentially commencing in the second half of 2023.
“Grounded advanced our business on all fronts extremely quickly from our humble roots in a little over two years,” commented Gregg Smith, President and CEO. “Although pleased with our progress to our current position, we remain hyper-focused on the full value proposition and it is our responsibility to move the business forward to achieve both near and long-term milestones. Combined with further understanding of the lithium from brine industry by the wider investment community, 2023 promises to be a very exciting time for all GLC stakeholders.”
GLC is a publicly traded lithium brine exploration and development company that controls approximately 3.7 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent of inferred resource over our focused land holdings in Southwest Saskatchewan. GLC’s multi-faceted business model involves the consolidation, delineation, exploitation and ultimately development of our opportunity base to fulfill our vision to build a best-in-class, environmentally responsible, Canadian lithium producer supporting the global energy transition shift. U.S. investors can find current financial disclosure and Real-Time Level 2 quotes for the Company on https://www.otcmarkets.com/.
Scientific and technical information contained in this press release has been prepared under the supervision of Doug Ashton, P.Eng, Suryanarayana Karri, P. Geoph., Alexey Romanov, P. Geo. and Meghan Klein, P. Eng., each of whom is a qualified person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. The opinions, forecasts, projections and statements about future events of results, are forward looking information, forward-looking statements or financial outlooks (collectively, “forward-looking statements“) under the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. These statements are made as of the date of this press release and the fact that this press release remains available does not constitute a representation by GLC that the Company believes these forward-looking statements continue to be true as of any subsequent date. Although GLC believes that the assumptions underlying, and expectations reflected in, these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these assumptions and expectations will prove to be correct. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding growing the Company’s business on multiple fronts and unlocking value, the expectation that the Company’s land holdings will be sufficient to support several 20,000 tonne/yr lithium from brine projects, the ease of converting the Company’s test well to a producing well for both a CDF and commercial operations, productivity rates based on the Company’s first test well, the expectation that the Company will restrict its productivity rate to help ensure deliverability for decades, the number of wells per section required by the Company to contribute to a 20,000 tonne/yr project, GLC’s land holdings supporting multiple 20,000 tonne/yr projects, the Company’s hopes to have greater access to capital at a lower cost, the selection of DLE technologies and the timing of same, the Company’s core team’s ability to lead the Company’s projects to commercial production, the Company’s need to add additional team members, the expectation that if one or more industry participants demonstrates success in achieving a commercial DLE technology, such event will lift the entire sector, the timing of results for third party lab pilots and the costs thereof, the design and construction of a CDF and the timing thereof, operating results from the CDF providing sufficient data to determine if a full-scale operation is economically and commercially attractive,, and GLC’s vision of becoming a best-in-class, environmentally responsible, Canadian lithium producer supporting the global energy transition.
Among the important factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are: GLC’s expectation that our operations will be in Western Canada, unexpected problems can arise due to technical difficulties and operational difficulties which impact the production, transport or sale of our products; geographic and weather conditions can impact the production; the risk that current global economic and credit conditions may impact commodity prices and consumption more than GLC currently predicts; the failure to obtain financing on reasonable terms; the risk that unexpected delays and difficulties in developing currently owned properties may occur; the failure of drilling to result in commercial projects; unexpected delays due to the limited availability of drilling equipment and personnel; and the other risk factors detailed from time to time in GLC’s periodic reports. GLC’s forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.
This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any jurisdiction.
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