Li3 Energy, Inc. has Signed a Binding Agreement to Acquire the Maricunga Lithium Project and has Begun the Process of Applying to List on the Toronto Stock Exchange

Mar 01, 2011, 03:00 ET from Li3 Energy, Inc.

LIMA, Peru, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Li3 Energy, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: LIEG) ("Li3" or the "Company") has signed a binding agreement with Sociedades Legales de Minerales de LITIO 1 a 6 de la Sierra Hoyada de Maricunga, a group of private companies (the "Companies") to acquire a 60% ownership in the Companies, which collectively own the Maricunga Project in northern Chile.

The closing of the Maricunga acquisition is subject to financing of the cash purchase price and work commitment by Li3 and other customary conditions. The non-binding letter of intent previously executed in December 2010 was to expire on February 28, 2011, but has now been extended for thirty days after the execution of the binding offer. Such extension is set to expire on March 24, 2011.  

Li3 will pay US$6 million and issue a number of shares of Li3 common stock to the companies equal to 30% of the outstanding Li3 stock on a post-transaction basis.  Li3 will issue additional shares upon exercise of any options and warrants outstanding at the time of closing, in proportion to the sellers' percentage ownership as of closing. In addition, Li3 will be committing to invest a total of up to US$5 million in work programs on exploration and studies to advance Maricunga towards the feasibility study stage.

In addition, Li3 is in the process of preparing an application to list its common stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange and has engaged Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP as legal counsel to assist with the listing process.

Luis Saenz, Chief Executive Officer of Li3, stated: "We are very pleased to have signed a binding offer to acquire the Maricunga asset. This brings us one step closer to consolidating our portfolio and becoming a value added industrial minerals producer."

About Li3 Energy, Inc.

Li3 Energy, Inc. is an early stage, U.S. public company currently pursuing a business strategy in the lithium mining and energy sector in the Americas, with an initial focus on identifying and acquiring opportunities in Peru, Argentina and Chile and the United States. Li3 Energy aims to acquire a significant portfolio of lithium brine deposits in the Americas for the purpose of development and production in order to meet growing market demand and to support the clean energy and green energy initiatives being implemented globally.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this news release including, without limitation, statements preceded by, followed by or that otherwise include the words "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "estimates," "projects," "potential," "target," "goal," "plans," "objective," "should" or similar expressions or variations on such expressions are forward-looking statements. The Company can give no assurances that the assumptions upon which the forward-looking statements are based will prove to be correct.  Because forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. There are a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the Company's ability to identify appropriate corporate acquisition and/or joint venture opportunities in the lithium mining sector and to establish the technical and managerial infrastructure, and to raise the required capital, to take advantage of, and successfully participate in such opportunities; future economic conditions; political stability; and lithium prices.  For further information about certain risks faced by the Company, see "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of Amendment No. 1 to our Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 5, 2010.

SOURCE Li3 Energy, Inc.