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Bearing Lithium Corp
Symbol BRZ
Shares Issued 80,840,238
Close 2021-05-10 C$ 0.18
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Bearing Li sees Minera's deal with Mitsui re: Maricunga

2021-05-10 20:59 ET - News Release

Mr. Cristobal Garcia-Huidobro reports


Bearing Lithium Corp. has provided an update as announced by Minera Salar Blanco (MSB).

The alliance includes offtake, financing rights and further strategic collaboration for new lithium developments in Chile.

MSB is pleased to announce that it has entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co. Ltd. to set up a strategic alliance to advance the development of the Maricunga project.

The MOU intends to create a partnership of the project. The MOU also addresses the development of the Chilean lithium industry by partnering to introduce other leading edge efficient and environmentally friendly technologies for processing.

The strategic alliance includes potential offtake and financing rights for the stage one of the project; potential participation, offtake and financing rights for future expansions of the project; and further strategic collaboration for new developments in Chile, based on new technology related to direct lithium extraction (the DLE) currently being studied and tested.

In particular, the parties aim to achieve the following goals as a result of such strategic alliance:

  • Offtake rights -- Mitsui will have the right to purchase up to 15,000 tonnes annually of high-purity lithium carbonate battery-grade production from the stage one of the project for 10 years, extendable for two consecutive five-year periods. The parties will agree on a price structure and terms of the offtake in a later stage, in order to be sufficiently bankable to support's MSB's debt financing requirements.
    • The parties will leverage Mitsui's considerable global logistics and battery materials marketing expertise on the distribution of the products.
  • Right to participate in financing of Maricunga's stage one -- Mitsui will have the right to participate directly in the financing of the stage one of the project. The parties will consider an optimized financing structure through a combination of equity-like and debt-like options.
  • Participation in future expansions, offtake and financing rights -- Subject to the parties agreeing to a financing proposal where Mitsui provides a relevant portion of the necessary financing of the capital expenditures required for the future expansion of the project, Mitsui will have the first option for an offtake agreement to purchase a relevant portion of the future production of the expansion.
    • MSB will use its best efforts to utilize new technology related to the DLE currently being studied and tested by Mitsui's technical partners.
  • Further strategic collaboration -- MSB will collaborate with Mitsui for the development of other lithium-related businesses in the country by introducing efficient and environmentally friendly processing technologies. In this context, MSB will commit to collaborate with Mitsui and its technical partner to facilitate the development and testing of the DLE technology at the Maricunga Salar, and provide a broader platform for the promotion of this technology.

Terms and details of the definitive agreements will be finalized after completion of all necessary due diligence and transaction structuring and subject to each party's internal approval.

Minera Salar Blanco's chief executive officer, Cristobal Garcia-Huidobro, commented:

"We are incredibly pleased to have reached a mutually beneficial MOU with Mitsui. The MOU is comprehensive, and it sets a framework for the stage one of the project development to proceed with the backing of a world-renowned partner. We look forward to finalizing the definitive agreements with Mitsui and working with them on mutually beneficial lithium projects and positive outcomes for the Chilean lithium industry.

About Bearing Lithium Corp.

Bearing Lithium is a lithium-focused mineral exploration and development company. Its primary asset is a 17.35-per-cent interest in the Maricunga lithium brine project in Chile. The Maricunga project represents one of the highest-grade lithium brine salars globally and the only preproduction project in Chile. Over $60-million (U.S.) has been invested in the Maricunga project. All project expenditures through to the delivery of a definitive feasibility study in January, 2019, have been fully financed by the 51-per-cent earn-in joint-venture partner, Lithium Power International.

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