FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE….Vancouver, British Columbia: Wealth Minerals Ltd. (the “Company” or “Wealth”) – (TSXV: WML; OTCQB: WMLLF; SSE: WMLCL; Frankfurt: EJZN), announces that it has executed a non-binding Letter of Intent (the “LOI”) to enter into an option agreement giving it the right to acquire a 100% royalty-free interest in a portfolio of exploration concessions, comprising approximately 10,500 hectares located in Regions I, II and II in northern Chile (the “Concessions”). The Concessions are divided into five projects, namely: Ascotan, Piedra Parada, Huasco, Lejia, and Siglia (collectively, the “Five Salars Project”).
Wealth Minerals intends to maintain its core focus on its flagship Atacama Project over the coming 12 to 24 months. While doing so, the Company has been acquiring an extensive position in other potentially lithium-bearing salars throughout northern Chile. With this latest acquisition, Wealth’s lithium project land position totals approximately 64,940 hectares, making Wealth one of the largest holders of lithium brine projects in South America (Table 1 and Figure 1).
Henk van Alphen, Wealth’s CEO, commented “The acquisition of the Five Salars Project is a key piece of our ongoing strategy at Wealth. Atacama represents our core project, but with past acquisitions and now the Five Salars Project, we have a front row seat to multiple lithium development projects in Chile. Consolidation of projects throughout South America is underway and we have positioned the Company to be a decisive player in the Chilean lithium industry.
Table 1: Wealth Lithium Brine Projects
|Laguna Verde||Laguna Verde||2,440|
|Five Salars Project||Ascotan||1,300|
Figure 1: Location of Wealth Minerals Lithium Properties in northern Chile. The properties labelled in yellow are existing properties. The properties labelled in red are new acquisitions comprising the Five Salars Project and the subject properties of this news release.
The lithium-bearing salars in which Wealth currently has land positions includes the Salar de Atacama, which is the only current lithium-producing salar in Chile, which accounts for up to 35% of global lithium production. Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (Sernageomin) compiled a list of 14 salars with high potential to contain and produce lithium (2014) and Wealth has acquired lithium projects in three of these; Salars de Pujsa, Aguas Calientes Norte, and Quisquiro (together the “Trinity Project”). With the acquisition of the Five Salars Project, Wealth is adding more value to its property portfolio with a package of five strategic land positions, which are described in more detail below.
The Concessions include approximately 1,300 hectares in the west portion of the Salar de Ascotan (Figure 2) comprising the “Ascotan Project.” Portions of the Salar de Ascotan were historically exploited by Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (“SQM”) for boron and has existing rail and road infrastructure in place. There are no current mining operations in the salar. The Salar de Ascotan is located 165km north of Wealth’s Atacama Project in the Salar de Atacama.
Wealth’s Ascotan Project is contiguous with Quiborax’s land position in the Salar de Ascotan. Quiborax is a Chilean mining company with operations in the Salar de Surire, producing a range of boron products including boric acid, boron granules, fertilizers and insecticides. Corporation Nacional del Cobre de Chile (“Codelco”) has a land position located east of the Quiborax position.
Readers are cautioned that the Quiborax’s and Codelco’s projects are adjacent properties and that Wealth Minerals has no interest in or right to acquire any interest in any part of either project. Mineral deposits on adjacent or similar properties are not in any way indicative of mineral deposits on Wealth’s Ascotan Project.
Piedra Parada Project
The Concessions also include approximately 1,900 hectares in the Salar de Piedra Parada (Figure 3) comprising the Piedra Parada Project that is contiguous to the Salares 7 Project (“Seven Salars”), a 50/50 joint venture between Talison Lithium Pty Ltd. (“Talison”) and a group of local Chilean entrepreneurs.
Talison’s interest in the Seven Salars was acquired by way of acquiring Salares Lithium Ltd. (a TSX-V company) in 2010 for C$58.0 million. Talison’s two lithium assets are the Greenbushes hard rock lithium mine in Western Australia and a 50% interest in the Seven Salars lithium brine project. Sichuan Tianqi Lithium Industries Inc. (“Tianqi”) owns a controlling 51% interest in Talison and is also the sole distributer of technical-grade lithium concentrate for Talison in China.
Readers are cautioned that the Seven Salars Project is an adjacent property and that Wealth has no interest in or right to acquire any interest in any part of the Seven Salars Project and that mineral deposits on adjacent or similar properties are not in any way indicative of mineral deposits on Wealth’s Piedra Parada Project.
The Concessions include approximately 5,300 hectares in the Huasco Salar, comprising the Huasco Project. Wealth’s land position is contiguous with claims held by notable major mining companies including Freeport McMoRan Inc (“Freeport”), BHP Billiton (“BHP”) and Codelco (Figure 4).
Readers are cautioned that the properties held by Freeport, BHP and Codelco are adjacent properties and that Wealth has no interest in or right to acquire any interest in any part of the properties and that mineral deposits on adjacent or similar properties are not in any way indicative of mineral deposits on Wealth’s Huasco Project.
Siglia and Lejia Projects
The Concessions include approximately 1,600 hectares in the Siglia Salar and 400 hectares in the Lejia Salar (Figure 1).
The terms of the LOI provide that, subject to the completion of certain conditions, including TSX Venture Exchange acceptance and entry into a definitive option agreement, Wealth (or a subsidiary of Wealth) would be granted the exclusive option to acquire a 100% royalty-free interest in the Concessions comprising the Five Salars Project, free and clear of all liens, charges and encumbrances from an arm’s length private Chilean company (the “Vendor”) by making the following payments, and issuing the following fully paid and non-assessable Wealth common shares to the Vendor:
|Date||Cash Payment (USD)||Share Issuance|
|Upon Signing Definitive Option Agreement||1,000,000||1,000,000 shares|
|6 months after signing||1,000,000||1,000,000 shares|
|12 months after signing||1,000,000||1,000,000 shares|
|18 months after signing||1,000,000||1,000,000 shares|
|24 months after signing||2,000,000||2,000,000 shares|
|28 months after signing||2,000,000||2,000,000 shares|
About Wealth Minerals Ltd.
Wealth is a mineral resource company with interests in Canada, Mexico, Peru and Chile. The Company’s main focus is the acquisition of lithium projects in South America. To date, the Company has positioned itself to develop the Aguas Calientes Norte, Pujsa and Quisquiro Salars in Chile (the Trinity Project), as well as to work alongside existing producers in the prolific Atacama Salar, in addition to the Laguna Verde lithium project acquisition. The Company continues to aggressively pursue new acquisitions in the region, the latest of which is the Five Salars Project. Lithium market dynamics and a rapidly increasing metal price are the result of profound structural issues with the industry meeting anticipated future demand. Wealth is positioning itself to be a major beneficiary of this future mismatch of supply and demand. The Company also maintains and continues to evaluate a portfolio of precious and base metal exploration-stage projects.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors of
WEALTH MINERALS LTD.
“Hendrik van Alphen”
Hendrik van Alphen
Chief Executive Officer
For further information, please contact:
Phone: 604-331-0096 Ext. 3886 or 604-638-3886
Neither 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 news release.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable Canadian and U.S. securities legislation, including the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation, statements regarding the anticipated content, commencement, timing and cost of exploration programs in respect of the Five Salars Project and otherwise, anticipated results from the exploration activities, the discovery and delineation of mineral deposits/resources/reserves on the Five Salars Project, the anticipated business plans and timing of future activities of the Company, the successful negotiation and execution of a definitive option agreement for the Five Salars Project and the Company’s expectation that it will be able to enter into agreements to acquire interests in additional mineral properties, are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as: “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “estimate”, “postulate” and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. The Company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements by the Company are not guarantees of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, issues raised during the Company’s due diligence on the Five Salars Project, operating and technical difficulties in connection with mineral exploration and development activities, actual results of exploration activities, the estimation or realization of mineral reserves and mineral resources, the timing and amount of estimated future production, the costs of production, capital expenditures, the costs and timing of the development of new deposits, requirements for additional capital, future prices of lithium and precious metals, changes in general economic conditions, changes in the financial markets and in the demand and market price for commodities, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry, delays in obtaining governmental approvals, permits or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities, changes in laws, regulations and policies affecting mining operations, title disputes, the inability of the Company to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required, including TSX-V acceptance of any current or future property acquisitions or financings and other planned activities, the timing and possible outcome of any pending litigation, environmental issues and liabilities, and risks related to joint venture operations, and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in the Company’s latest interim Management Discussion and Analysis and filed with certain securities commissions in Canada. All of the Company’s Canadian public disclosure filings may be accessed via www.sedar.com and readers are urged to review these materials, including the technical reports filed with respect to the Company’s mineral properties.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements in this news release or incorporated by reference herein, except as otherwise required by law.