Update on the CEOL Matter before the Chilean Courts
The case relates to the awarding of a CEOL (Lithium Special Operation Contract) to exploit lithium to the state-owned copper company, Codelco, immediately prior to the change of Chile's government on 11 March 2018. The CEOL covers the entire Maricunga Salar, including properties owned by LPI's joint venture entity Minera Salar Blanco SA ("MSB").
CEOL's, however, only apply to concessions licensed under the "new" mining code and therefore only cover MSB's Litio concessions. All of MSB's other concessions were issued under the "old pre-1979" mining code and are not affected.
Within the legal process before the Chilean Appeals Court (Amparo Económico), MSB requested the Chilean Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional de Chile) to rule on the constitutional legality of an article being used by Codelco in their defense at the Appeals Court.
The Constitutional Court advised on 23 May 2018 that the issue was not a constitutional matter and they could not make a ruling. The matter was referred to the Appeals Court.
The legal process will continue in the Appeals Court as originally lodged.
It is important to note that the Chilean Nuclear Commission (CCHEN), designated by Chilean law to preside over lithium production, in March 2018, awarded MSB a permit without any further requirements to produce and commercialise lithium products from its old mining code concessions on Maricunga Salar for 30 years.
The legal action has had no effect on the Maricunga project's development schedule. MSB continues to finalise the Definitive Feasibility Study before year's end 2018 and also the submission of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
About Lithium Power International Ltd
Lithium Power International Limited (ASX:LPI) (FRA:24L) is a pure-play lithium explorer and developer, focusing on developing and fast-tracking to production the high-grade Maricunga lithium brine project in Chile.
LPI has a well known performing technical team with the experience to take the Maricunga project all the way through the development stages to production.
The regions that LPI is currently focussed on are:
1. Maricunga JV (Chile) – On 13th September 2016, Lithium Power announced the creation of a new JV to develop the world-class Maricunga lithium brine deposit in northern Chile.
2. Pilbara (Western Australia) – LPI has one granted exploration tenement and two pending exploration applications covering 203km2 in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia. The largest granted exploration tenement is at Pilgangoora-Houston Creek is 2-3km west of the Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Altura Mining (ASX:AJM) lithium deposits.
3. Greenbushes (Western Australia) – LPI has two granted exploration tenements covering 400km2 in the Greenbushes area of southern Western Australia. The tenements are adjacent to the world’s largest hard rock lithium mine owned & operated by Tianqi/Talison.
4. Centenario (Argentina) –Through its Argentinian subsidiary, Lithium Power holds a total of 6 granted tenements in the Centenario lithium brine salar within the Salta province of the Puna Plateau. In total, the 6 granted tenements cover an area of 61.52km2. In addition, there is 1 further tenement in the grant review stage.
With the exception of the Maricunga JV, all tenements are 100% owned by LPI or LPSA (including rights to the Centenario tenement which is the subject of review by the Argentinian mining authorities).
Lithium Power International Ltd