Even with surging global lithium demand, political powerhouses like the US are concerned about its critical minerals supply chains in meeting those growing demands. As the US reviews its critical supply chain risks, lithium mining companies operating in the Americas present the potential to turn the tides of critical mineral market vulnerabilities.
American Lithium (TSXV:LI, OTCQB:LIACF, XFRA:5LA1) is a top TSX Venture 50 company focused on exploring and developing high-quality lithium deposits within mining-friendly jurisdictions throughout the Americas. The company is currently operating its Tonopah Lithium Claims (TLC) project located in the highly prospective mining Esmeralda lithium district in Nevada.
The 100 percent owned TLC project hosts overwhelming operational and geological advantages. Its unique mineralogy, lack of deleterious elements and favorable processing conditions primes project development for fast track potential.
The project boasts excellent existing infrastructure and strategic positioning in the top mining investment jurisdiction of Nevada. The property leverages proximity to paved roads, electricity, water networks and skilled local labor. Additionally, premier solar conditions across the geographic region point to some of the world’s lowest power and natural gas costs.
The TLC project has one of the fastest processing times relative to its peers. Beneficiate samples taken from TLC achieved a 49 percent mass reduction while increasing lithium grade by 66 percent, and subsequent leach testing extracted 96 percent of the lithium from upgraded samples.
A 43-101 compliant technical report for TLC shows a measured and indicated resource of 5.37 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and another 1.76 million tonnes LCE inferred.
In March 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office selected American Lithium as a co-recipient of a grant funding 50 percent of the capital cost for a US$4.5 million lithium extraction hydroxide pilot plant.
This grant provides funding to complete field demonstration of selective leaching, purification and electrochemical production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide precursors from US claystone deposits like the TLC project. This announcement further legitimizes American Lithium as a major player in tackling the US’ domestic lithium supply problem.
The company has a robust capital structure and tight shareholder portfolio. Its market cap stands at US$141.8 million, with key shareholders largely consisting of retail investors, management and insiders. American Lithium currently has zero debt.
The American Lithium management team has a proven history of returning value to shareholders and years of combined experience in mineral exploration, resource development and project management. The company is led by CEO Andrew Bowering, who has founded, funded and grown a number of exploration companies in the last 30 years. Part of this roster are Cap-Ex Iron Ore (now ML Gold), Prime Mining (TSXV:PRYM), and Millennial Lithium (TSXV:ML).
American Lithium’s Company Highlights
- American Lithium is focused on exploring and developing highly prospective lithium deposits across mining-friendly jurisdictions in the Americas. The company currently is operating its high-quality Tonopah Lithium Claims (TLC) project in Nevada, USA.
- The company presents excellent investing opportunities and leverages surging global lithium demand, which is expected to rise exponentially by 2028. It could become a significant player in aiding the domestic lithium supply problem in the US.
- The TLC project boasts strategic positioning in Nevada, ranked the top jurisdiction in the world for mining investment in 2020. The project also sits near the Tesla gigafactory and leverages excellent existing infrastructure.
- TLC hosts unique metallurgical properties with high lithium concentrates, over 90 percent recoveries and fast leaching potential. Operational advantages also include low-cost mining and processing.
- The company continues to expand its robust asset portfolio with the recent acquisition of the Macusani and Fulchani projects connected with Plateau Energy Metals Inc. (TSXV:PLU).
- The company’s leadership has a proven track record of mining and exploration success across years of experience—their depth of management primes American Lithium for significant growth and economic prosperity.
- American Lithium currently has zero debt.
American Lithium’s Key Projects
Tonopah Lithium Claims (TLC) Project
The TLC project spans 6,000 acres and is located five miles from Tonopah, Nevada, a historic regional mining center. The property hosts concentrated lithium mineralization up to 80 meters thick and widespread lateral extension.
In 2019, the company conducted an extensive sampling program that completed 18 reverse circulation drill holes and an additional five core drill holes. This program proved the presence of world-class lithium grades as high as 2,600ppm and laterally extensive mineralization for miles.
The alluvial deposit leverages unique mineralogy that originates from surrounding volcanic tuffs washed into a lacustrine freshwater basin to form sedimentary claystone. This geological profile enhances battery-grade lithium salt production potential and outstandingly short processing times. This perfect storm of mineralogy and operational advantages presents TLC with scalable production prospects compared to similar lithium projects.
The project’s near-term production plan includes completing a PEA into a PFS and submitting a Plan of Operations in 2021. Additionally, the company intends to design and test a pilot facility for later extraction facility construction.
American Lithium’s Management Team
Michael Kobler, B.Sc. — CEO & Director
Over the past 35 years, Michael Kobler has specialized in identifying, acquiring, developing and producing natural resource opportunities throughout the world, as well as overseeing the design and construction of several infrastructure projects. He has served in various roles for early-stage companies, including the chairman, CEO, president, technical advisor, engineer and project manager and has been a founder and a major shareholder in many of these ventures. Kobler has a strong record of success in the exploration, permitting and de-risking of resource projects. In 2005, Kobler was a co-founder and CEO of Osum Oil Sands Corp. He oversaw the analysis and acquisitions of the original oil sands leases that form the core of Osum’s projects Cold Lake and the Saleski carbonates, Alberta.
Andrew Bowering, B.A. — Director
Andrew Bowering is a venture capitalist with 30 years of operational experience and leadership in mineral exploration and development worldwide. He has founded, funded and built teams that have operated numerous companies to pursue precious, base and industrial metals from early exploration to production. Bowering is an owner and founder of Sunrise Drilling Ltd. and has owned and operated drilling companies for the past 20 years. He has held senior management positions in a variety of capacities. He has been responsible for the acquisition and sale of several assets and the raising of upwards of US$250 million in development capital. Bowering has operated and managed programs throughout North and South America and abroad. He is a founder, director and shareholder of Millennial Lithium Corp and other publicly traded companies primarily focused on the battery metals space.
Simon Clarke — Director
Simon Clarke brings 25 years of experience in building companies and implementing successful capital markets and growth strategies focused on mining, energy and energy technology. Most recently, Clarke was the founder, CEO and director of M2 Cobalt Corp., which sold to Jervois Mining Ltd. in June 2019. He offers significant experience and knowledge of the battery metals space and his roles with M2 Cobalt and Jervois Mining involved managing government and stakeholder initiatives relating to the supply of battery metals in several jurisdictions. In particular, he has first-hand experience of the critical minerals initiatives in the United States and the urgent need to develop domestic sources of supply of critical minerals, including battery-grade lithium. Clarke was a co-founder of Osum Oil Sands Corp. who, together with American Lithium CEO Michael Kobler, built a company valued over US$1 billion at its peak. He remains a board observer at Osum and is currently CEO of Apollo Gold Corp.
G. A. (Ben) Binninger — Director
G. A. Binninger is a chemical engineer who brings a wealth of experience in senior management and board roles over a career spanning more than 35 years. Binningerhas held several high-profile roles in various sectors, including mining, energy, materials, environmental and advanced technologies. He has direct experience in lithium and related minerals, having been CEO of Potash Minerals and a member of the Advisory Board of Millennial Lithium. He has also created sophisticated process and services companies for global leaders such as Rio Tinto and ARCO. Binninger will provide critical strategic advice as the development of the TLC Lithium Project continues to evolve in line with continued de-risking and as the need for large-scale, domestic lithium projects becomes more widely recognized.
Graham Ballachey — Vice President of Engineering
Graham Ballachey is a mechanical engineer with a physics and chemistry background and 13 years of experience within various industries, including combustion research, manufacturing, energy optimization, building design, project management, construction management, process development and product development. Ballachey has extensive experience in both experimentation, engineering and design, as well as the management of engineers, consultants, technologists and construction projects of over US$1.2 million in capital. He has successfully procured over $500,000 from government and utility grants.
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