Li3 Energy, Inc., Provides Due Diligence Progress Report on the Maricunga Project, Announces Closing of Financing

Dec 17, 2010, 11:15 ET from Li3 Energy, Inc.

LIMA, Peru, Dec. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Li3 Energy, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: LIEG) ("Li3 Energy" or the "Company") announced a recent site visit to the Maricunga Project ("Maricunga" or the "Project") in northern Chile, for which the Company has signed Letters of Intent to acquire 60% of the Project, as part of the Company's due diligence process, which is advancing as planned.

A sampling program on the 8,000 hectare Salar de Maricunga was performed by CORFO, the economic development agency of the Republic of Chile, and calculated a mineral resource of approximately 1.2 million metric tons of lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) equivalent (224,300 metric tons of lithium) and 3.27 million metric tons of potash (KCl). The government of Chile reports that the Salar de Maricunga is the largest undeveloped lithium brine resource in Chile, second only to the Salar de Atacama.

In February 2007, the previous owners of Maricunga started the first campaign of exploration by drilling 58 vertical wells to a depth of 20 meters on a 500 x 500 meter systematic grid. A total of 226 liquid samples were taken from each of these wells through compressed air method, and were later sent to the CESMEC laboratory in Antofagasta for analysis. The samples yielded the following results:


Average value




% w/w Li



% w/w K



% w/w B2O3



% w/w Mg





  • Mean values for 226 samples of brine.
  • % w/w corresponds to percentage by weight.

0.0834 % of Lithium is equivalent to 1.01 grams per liter of brine (g/L), or 834 PPM. Using the same calculation 0.6565% Potassium is equivalent to 7.93 grams per liter (g/lt), which is equivalent to 6,565 PPM. 0.1499 B2O3 is equivalent to 1.81 grams per liter (g/lt) and equivalent to 1,499 PPM B2O3. Values coincide with those obtained by CORFO in the previous surveys conducted in the Salar de Maricunga.

During the visit to Maricunga last week, it was confirmed that many of the casings of the wells from the 2007 campaign still remain intact, which will assist the Company to verify the information provided during the due diligence process.

The Company started yesterday an extensive surface sampling program and will also include as many samples from the existing wells as possible. In early January 2011, the Company plans to commence a seismic geophysics program as part of the due diligence on Maricunga.

Luis Saenz, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, stated: "We are very pleased with the due diligence progress and the work conducted on Maricunga to date. Our preliminary findings confirm the potential of Maricunga as a world class asset.  We will continue our work and expect first results in the early part of the new year."

The Company has recently consummated an initial closing of a private placement offering in which it raised US$500,000, of which US$250,000 was paid as a non-refundable deposit on the Maricunga Project.

About Li3 Energy, Inc.

Li3 Energy, Inc. is an early stage, U.S. public company pursuing a strategy in the lithium mining and energy sector in the Americas, with a focus on identifying and acquiring opportunities in Peru, Argentina and Chile. Li3 Energy's goal is 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.

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.

The Company disclaims any obligations or undertaking to publicly release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained in this news release to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

SOURCE Li3 Energy, Inc.