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Volt Lithium Corp
Symbol VLT
Shares Issued 130,303,603
Close 2023-12-13 C$ 0.175
Market Cap C$ 22,803,131
Recent Sedar Documents

Volt Lithium pegs Rainbow posttax NPV at $1.1B (U.S.)

2023-12-14 09:51 ET - News Release

Mr. Alex Wylie reports

VOLT LITHIUM ANNOUNCES PRELIMINARY ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT AT RAINBOW LAKE PROJECT IN ALBERTA, HIGHLIGHTED BY 45% IRR AND US$1.5 BILLION BEFORE-TAX NPV8

Volt Lithium Corp. has released the summary results from the company's preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Rainbow Lake lithium project, a lithium brine project in northwest Alberta, Canada, where the company owns lithium rights across 430,000 acres of land. The PEA outlines the estimated production scaling from 1,000 to over 23,000 metric tonnes per year of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (lithium hydroxide or LHM) over a 19-year period. Volt's completed National Instrument 43-101 PEA technical report is expected to be filed on SEDAR+ within 45 days.

All dollar values in this press release are stated in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.

"We are very pleased with the results of the PEA," commented Alex Wylie, president and chief executive officer of Volt. "Volt's focus on extracting lithium from oil field brines allows for significant project returns and economics that will allow Volt to grow its lithium production in a measured and responsible way."

Rainbow Lake PEA highlights:

  • Production growing from 1,000 to over 23,000 metric tonnes per year (average over years five to 19) of battery-grade LHM spanning a 19-year period;
  • Pretax $1.5-billion net present value (NPV) at 8-per-cent discount rate (NPV8) and internal rate of return (IRR) of 45 per cent;
  • After-tax $1.1-billion NPV8 and IRR of 35 per cent;
  • Volt has entered into a capital expenditure recovery program and cost sharing arrangement with a private oil and gas company (the E&PCo), which is expected to allow Volt to significantly enhance overall project economics;
  • Operating expenditure (opex) of approximately $3,276/tonne LHM in the Muskeg formation, with an average grade of 92 milligrams/litre and approximately $4,545/tonne in the Keg River formation with an average grade of 49 mg/L;
  • Project economics assumed $25,000/tonne LHM and provides strong leverage to higher lithium prices.

Rainbow Lake PEA

Introduction

The Rainbow Lake PEA was compiled by Sproule Associates Ltd. integrating the work of Sproule and other consultants, each having the qualifications necessary to author their respective sections of the PEA.

Volt is a lithium brine exploration and development company focused on advancing its Rainbow Lake project in Northern Alberta, Canada. The Rainbow Lake project is based on an LHM plant with an assumed 19-year production life.

Volt will target production growth in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Production is targeted at 1,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) focused on the Muskeg formation with an average lithium grade of 92 mg/L.
  • Phase 2: Volt intends to expand production to 5,000 tpa of LHM primarily focused on the Muskeg formation.
  • Phase 3: Volt intends to expand production to an average of approximately 23,000 tpa of LHM focused on the Muskeg and Keg River formations.

During the production ramp-up, Volt will maintain a continuing exploration program to further its understanding of the reservoirs in the Rainbow Lake area with the goal of targeting lithium production from brines in the Muskeg and Keg River formations offering the highest lithium concentrations.

The PEA contemplates brines will be treated using the company's proprietary direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology (IES-300) that has been proven to selectively extract lithium from brine. This IES-300 technology was successfully tested during the company's pilot program conducted during the second quarter of 2023 and was used as the basis for the PEA. After passing through the extraction process, the concentrated lithium brine stream will undergo further processing steps including purification, concentration and conversion in order to produce commercial battery-grade LHM.

Economic analysis

The base case analysis assumes a long-term LHM price of $25,000/tonne. Using this price assumption, the Rainbow Lake project generates a positive NPV8 of $1.5-billion pretax and $1.1-billion after-tax.

Key indicators and PEA highlights are shown herein.

Capital expenditures and operating costs

The capital expenditure (capex) estimate was prepared in accordance with the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE) Class 5 study standards, and has an approximate accuracy of plus 50 per cent/minus 30 per cent.

Assuming average production over 19 years of 18,906 tpa of LHM, the direct capital costs are estimated at $1.4-billion, with indirect costs of $95-million. A contingency of 10 per cent was applied to total development program costs and 15 per cent was applied to the facilities and indirect costs, yielding an estimated all-in capital cost of $1.55-billion.

The total estimated capex for the project is presented herein, inclusive of contingency.

The operating expenditure (opex) estimate for the project was also prepared in accordance with the AACE Class 5 study standard. The total opex is presented herein.

Processing overview and cost arrangements

As outlined above, Volt will deploy a three-phase strategy to grow its operations at Rainbow Lake. This is expected to facilitate a measured rollout that allows for continued exploration of the reservoir, which ensures the company is focused on area operations with the highest lithium grades, while minimizing dilution to shareholders as Volt anticipates using debt and other financing strategies to support growth while in commercial operations.

The capital cost arrangement with the E&PCo is structured to allow Volt to recover all capital expenditures it incurs for the recompletion and drilling of production wells to a total payout up to 200 per cent of the original capital cost of the wells. For the disposal wells, Volt's capital cost arrangement is as follows: a) in phase 1 Volt will pay 50 per cent of the capital costs associated with the disposal wells and will receive a total payout of up to 200 per cent of the capital costs paid by Volt for the disposal wells; and (b) in phases 2 and 3, Volt will pay 100 per cent of the capital costs associated with the disposal wells and will receive a total payout of up to 200 per cent of the capital costs of the disposal wells. The company has also entered into an operating agreement with the E&PCo whereby the E&PCo will pay Volt operating costs to manage shared wells and facilities on behalf of both the E&PCo and the company. The cost arrangement and the opex agreement significantly improve overall project economics for Volt at Rainbow Lake.

Volt's proprietary IES-300 process produces a high-quality lithium chloride solution which will be further purified and concentrated by means of reverse osmosis, chemical softening and ion exchange. After purification and concentration of the raw lithium chloride, a conventional, two-stage, lithium carbonate crystallization process will be deployed for final conversion of the polished lithium chloride to battery-quality LHM.

Project economics

The financial results described above are derived from inputs based on the annual production schedule as set forth in the PEA and summarized herein. Sensitivity analysis on the economic results over a 19-year operating life are summarized herein.

About Volt Lithium Corp.

Volt is a lithium development and technology company aiming to be North America's first commercial producer of lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonates from oil field brine. Its strategy is to generate value for shareholders by leveraging management's hydrocarbon experience and existing infrastructure to extract lithium deposits from existing wells, thereby reducing capital costs, lowering risks and supporting the world's clean energy transition. With four differentiating pillars, and a proprietary DLE technology and process, Volt's innovative approach to development is focused on allowing the highest lithium recoveries with lowest costs, positioning it well for future commercialization. Volt is committed to operating efficiently and with transparency across all areas of the business, staying sharply focused on creating long-term, sustainable shareholder value.

We seek Safe Harbor.

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