Vancouver, B.C. January 25, 2017: International Lithium Corp. (the “Company” or “ILC”) (TSX VENTURE: ILC.V) announces that Kirill Klip, the President of ILC, has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, such that he will act as the CEO, President and Chairman of the Company. Gary Schellenberg has resigned as CEO and a director of the Company. Mike Sieb has also resigned as a director of the Company and Jerry Bella has resigned as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary. To fill the vacancies of the departing directors and officers, and to add an additional director, as permitted by ILC’s Articles, David Shen, John Wisbey and Ross Thompson have been appointed (subject to TSXV approval) as directors of the Company. Maurice Brooks has been appointed (subject to TSXV approval) as interim CFO. John Wisbey will fill the role of Corporate Secretary.
Mr. Shen has a Masters of Science Degree in Marketing from Leeds Metropolitan University and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Honours Business Administration from the University of Huddersfield in the UK. Prior to joining the Lithium industry, he worked as a customer manager of Corporate banking in a Hong Kong bank for almost 5 years. He currently works directly with the President of Ganfeng Lithium.
Mr. Wisbey started his career as a banker at Kleinwort Benson after graduating from Cambridge University. He had various roles there including corporate lending and was later a director in the derivatives group and head of options. Mr. Wisbey is also a technology entrepreneur founding two companies that have gone public on the London AIM market, namely IDOX plc (software for Local Authority Planning Applications) and Lombard Risk Management plc (software for risk management and regulation) and more recently an early stage private company Convendia Ltd. He has acted as a public company chairman, CEO or director for 16 years.
Mr. Thompson is a speaker and expert in marketing behavioural science. In 1995, he started a company Giftpoint Ltd. which is now one of the largest specialist promotional merchandise businesses in the UK with offices in London and Shanghai, whose clients include L’Oreal, Oracle, Ocado, and Pernod Ricard among others. Mr. Thompson was President of IGC Global Promotions for seven years, one of the world’s oldest and largest global network of premium resellers. He is an active investor having a special interest and understanding of natural resources businesses.
Mr. Brooks is a licensed senior statutory auditor in the UK. Since 2000, he has been a senior partner in Johnson, Smith & Co., Chartered Accountants and Statutory Auditors. Previously, he had been Finance and Deputy Managing Director of a vehicle producer, Investment Accountant to the Western Australian Government, and before that he had been employed in the audit department of Price Waterhouse Coopers-U.K.
Kirill Klip, Chairman and CEO of International Lithium stated: “I would like to thank management and directors of International Lithium for the development of our Company and its portfolio of projects to this stage. Now it is time to bring our Company to the next level based on a strategic partnership with a worldwide leader in our industry Ganfeng Lithium. My strategy will be defined by maximising shareholders’ value in our Company. My priorities will be to build the ILC Team and advance our projects in order to facilitate potential production to their particular needs as a lithium end-user utilising Ganfeng’s technology and access to the capital. My focus will be to minimise dilution while optimising capital management at ILC in order to advance our Joint Venture operations and build a strong portfolio of new projects for further development.”
“Ganfeng has a strong commitment to supply Lithium products to various industries worldwide,” stated Ganfeng’s Director, Wang Xiaoshen, “so we clearly have a vested interest in these projects and have been very hands-on in the evaluation of ILC’s properties. I feel confident that these projects fit our resource strategy.”
Ganfeng is the largest integrated lithium producer in China, with a total capacity of around 30,000 tpa LCE. Ganfeng’s products include lithium metal, lithium hydroxide, lithium carbonate , lithium fluoride, lithium chloride, and other chemical products of lithium. In Australia, Ganfeng Lithium owns a 43.1% interest in the Mt. Marion lithium spodumene mine with Mineral Resources Ltd. (43.1%) and Neometals Ltd. (13.8%). Ganfeng was founded in 2000 and trades on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of around US$ 3 billion.
Ganfeng Lithium Strategic Partner
In joint venture partnership with Ganfeng Lithium, the Company is advancing two projects, the Mariana lithium-potassium brine project in Argentina (Ganfeng owns 80%) and the Avalonia hard rock lithium rare metals pegmatite project in Ireland (Ganfeng owns 55%).
Last year (Company news release dated July 18, 2016) Ganfeng Lithium and ILC approved an aggressive US$12 million budget over an 18 month period at Mariana to advance the project through an anticipated maiden resource estimate, short and long term pump tests and complete all pertinent definitive technical studies to satisfy the requirements for the filing of environmental permit applications in order to initiate pilot scale operations.
“Definition drilling for the initial resource is completed and we have started drilling in preparation for the commencement of pump tests anticipated near the end of the month. Pump tests are a crucial step in advancing the Project by characterizing potential flow rates in the basin’s aquifers”, states International Lithium Vice President of Exploration, John Harrop.
This past year, US$800,000 was allocated to exploration by Ganfeng Lithium at the Avalonia lithium pegmatite project in Ireland. To date, the strategic partnership has expended US$2.1 million in exploration that has significantly added to the understanding and has wholly reinforced the exploration potential of the 42 km long Avalonia lithium pegmatite belt. The Company’s objective is to continue to develop the better known occurrences while systematically testing the multitude of targets previously identified, but yet to have a concerted exploration effort applied to them. As such, the Company is working with Ganfeng Lithium to secure an effective long-term exploration and development plan for Avalonia.
Currently the Company is awaiting permits to conduct a geophysical survey at the Moylisha target area at Avalonia. The Moylisha target area contains extensive pegmatite boulder trains with visually identifiable spodumene. In 2012, five grab samples of spodumene bearing pegmatite at Moylisha returned values from 1.31 to 4.59% Li2O*, the highest grade representing a spodumene content of greater than 50%. These high grade lithium boulders have yet to be traced back to source. Using the results of the geophysics program, the Company intends to apply for focussed drilling and/or trenching permits to test this high priority area.
* Previously reported grab sample in Company news release dated January 31, 2012. Grab samples are by definition selective and are collected to determine the presence or absence of mineralization. As such they are unlikely to represent average grades on the property.
International Lithium Joint Venture Operations with Pioneer Resources Ltd. (ASX:PIO): Mavis and Raleigh Exploration Programs.
A $1 million (CAD) budget has been allocated across the Mavis and Raleigh lithium pegmatite projects (“Projects”). The exploration programs commenced in the Summer of 2016 and have already included lithogeochemical sampling, ground and airborne geophysics. In addition, 3,000m of diamond drilling with 1,500m allocated to each of the Projects will commence in the near future. The budgeted exploration expenditures will be wholly funded by Pioneer as part of their earn-in on the Projects (See details regarding the terms of the Mavis and Raleigh option agreements in Company news releases dated June 22 and July 26, 2016).
A ground magnetic survey has been completed over planned areas of the Mavis Lithium Project producing a high resolution image revealing the preferential lithological contacts and structures potentially hosting lithium spodumene pegmatites. An airborne magnetic survey was completed at Raleigh using drone technology. In addition, lithogeochemical sampling programs have been completed at Mavis and Raleigh. The current field program will drill test both new targets identified during the 2016 season in addition to those defined by previous work.
Along strike and to the west of the spodumene pegmatites near the western edge of the Mavis project boundary, 3 claims totalling 640 hectares have been contiguously staked. The new project area, referred to as Mavis West, is known from historical work to host pegmatites that are situated on trend of the Fairservice Group of high-grade spodumene pegmatites near the western boundary of the Company’s Mavis Project. The Mavis West claims will form part of the existing Mavis Project and be incorporated into the associated option agreement with Pioneer.
Following completion of the exploration program at Mavis the field crew will move to the Raleigh project. The exploration program at Raleigh will be the first drill program by the Company at Raleigh. The drilling is designed to confirm and extend spodumene pegmatites using the recently completed airborne magnetics and lithogeochemical surveys.
About the Mavis and Raleigh Lithium Pegmatite Projects
The Mavis and Raleigh Lithium Projects are situated 19 and 80 kilometres east respectively from the town of Dryden, Ontario. Both Projects are in close vicinity to the Trans-Canada highway and railway – major transportation arteries linking larger cities such as Thunder Bay, Ontario, to the southeast and Winnipeg, Manitoba, to the west.
When rare-metal pegmatites are emplaced, the host rocks adjacent to the pegmatite may be enriched by the associated fluids forming a rare-metals’ dispersion halo around the pegmatite body. Normally the extent of the rare-metal alteration halo is within a few meters of the pegmatite. Whereas, the pegmatite belts at Mavis and Raleigh exhibit alteration halos on the order of tens of metres wide, representing some of the broadest and strongest host-rock lithium anomalies observed around the world and suggesting an intense mineralizing system.
Previous exploration programs at the Projects discovered spodumene bearing high-grade Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum (“LCT”) pegmatites within these anomalous bands (see Company news releases March 14, March 23, July 13 and July 26, 2016 for further details).
The close proximity of the Projects presents clear strategic and operational advantages. ILC is pursuing lithium prospects with reported high grades in this region and seeking to consolidate them with the aim to identify sufficient resources in multiple prospects to potentially feed a common processing facility. The Upper Canada Lithium Pool is the anticipated geographical consolidation of projects and partnered companies hosting amenable grade, volume, access and infrastructure in order to mitigate the financial burden on any one company when advancing specific projects to reach this goal.
John Harrop, P.Geo, FGS, is a Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101 and has supervised preparation of the technical information contained in this news release.
About International Lithium Corp.
International Lithium Corp. is an exploration company with an outstanding portfolio of projects, strong management ownership, robust financial support and a strategic partner and keystone investor Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., a leading China based lithium product manufacturer.
The Company’s primary focus is the Mariana lithium-potash brine project, a joint venture with Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. within the renowned South American “Lithium Belt” that is the host to the vast majority of global lithium resources, reserves and production. The Mariana project strategically encompasses an entire mineral rich evaporate basin, totalling 160 square kilometres, that ranks as one of the more prospective salars or ‘salt lakes’ in the region.
Complementing the Company’s lithium brine project are three rare metals pegmatite properties in Canada known as the Mavis, Raleigh, and Forgan projects; and one project in Ireland (Avalonia project) that encompasses an extensive 50km long pegmatite belt. The Avalonia project is under option to strategic partner Ganfeng Lithium and the Mavis and Raleigh projects with strategic partner Pioneer Resources Limited (ASX:PIO). The Mavis, Raleigh and Forgan projects together form the basis of the Company’s newly created Upper Canada Lithium Pool designated to focus on acquiring numerous prospects with previously reported high concentrations of lithium in close proximity to existing infrastructure.
With the increasing demand for high tech rechargeable batteries used in vehicle propulsion technologies and portable electronics, lithium is paramount to tomorrow’s “green-tech”, sustainable economy. By positioning itself with solid development partners and acquiring high quality grass roots projects at an early stage of exploration, ILC aims to be the resource explorer of choice for investors in green tech and build value for its shareholders.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Chairman, President and CEO, International Lithium Corp.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Statements in this press release other than purely historical information, historical estimates should not be relied upon, including statements relating to the Company’s future plans and objectives or expected results, are forward-looking statements. News release contains certain “Forward-Looking Statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions and are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company’s business, including risks inherent in resource exploration and development. As a result, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.