International Lithium Corp.
Dear Stakeholders of International Lithium,
When we launched ILC in 2009 we had a vision of becoming a global supplier of lithium as a raw material, contributing to the green energy revolution. As an exploration company that was a leader in this field we faced a few challenges conveying lithium’s potential to the market, a market that was just beginning to grasp the importance of lithium to clean and sustainable transport. The fall in commodity prices and subsequent depressed markets for mineral development companies also impeded our advancement, but today I am here to report we have overcome many of these obstacles and made significant progress in reaching key milestones. By managing our corporate resources effectively over the past 5 years (since our IPO in 2011), we have advanced our lithium projects, acquired new properties and formed partnerships with global lithium suppliers and developers.
Since my last address in May of 2015 my predictions have indeed come to fruition. Lithium prices have nearly tripled and demand continues to climb. There appears to be no sign of a slowdown either, consumers demand technologies that use lithium as a power source and the transportation industry is increasingly using lithium to catalyze new vehicle designs that reduce carbon emissions. Electric vehicle sales grew by 70% last year and still only account for less than 1% of total cars sold; they are rising exponentially from a very low base. Tesla reported last year that in China alone, EV sales increased by 400%. A study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance recently published a forecast report that EV sales will hit 41 million by 2040, representing 35% of vehicle sales. This would be almost 90 times the amount from 2015. I am sharing these statistics as they support our decision to acquire and develop new strategic properties in Canada this year; all of which lie in the heart of the North American auto manufacturing industry. Automakers with facilities in Ontario like GM, Ford, Toyota and Chrysler are all developing EV’s to compete with Tesla and are looking to source lithium for their power plants. Our portfolio holds three key properties in the area; Raleigh, Mavis and Forgan Lake, all within the Upper Canada Lithium pool.
Last September I announced that we would be refocussing our attention on growing opportunities once we completed our financing. We have done so successfully and are now on track with advancing the Mavis Lithium project through a new joint venture with Pioneer Resources Limited (for full details please see the 04.20.2016 news release). The Mavis property is in a location with established infrastructure and is a key to targeting a new lithium supply chain in North America. We are currently beginning an exploration program on this project which should extend throughout the summer field season.
As we work to grow our operations worldwide, we rely greatly on the experience and knowledge gained from our partner Ganfeng Lithium. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have an established commercial lithium supplier as a partner. Since we entered into a strategic relationship five years ago we have focused our expertise and efforts on the Mariana Lithium Brine project in Argentina and the Avalonia Pegmatite project in Ireland. Both projects have recently announced exploration programs that were carried out on the properties which we are looking to extend through the remainder of the year.
The latest drill programme conducted at the Avalonia Lithium project in Ireland revealed a new pegmatite body, proving the lateral extent of the lithium pegmatite occurrences is greater than previously known, consequently opening more ground for potential discoveries. We are currently awaiting analytical results from core samples taken during the recent drill program. Full details can be found on the Jun_09_2016 news release.
Equally exciting are the recent exploration results from the Mariana Lithium Brine Project in Argentina. A potentially important third aquifer was discovered deeper in the salar. We are currently awaiting lab results of brine samples from the program. Also, evaporation path studies have recently revealed that raw brine from the shallow aquifers responds well to treatment with lime to facilitate the removal of sulphate and magnesium. For details on the latest findings please see the June_16_2016 news release.
ILC is unique in that we not only have a very strong financial partner providing capital for our joint venture projects, but Ganfeng is also the end user. They have 19 processing patents and are the only lithium materials producer capable of working with both brine and spodumene sources of lithium raw materials. We are developing projects that will potentially produce the lithium source material they require for processing. We are also applying the strategic partner model to our North American projects and are using the exploration knowledge gained at Avalonia in Ireland to build up our Upper Canada Lithium Pool projects.
Thank you for your attention.
President, International Lithium Corp.