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Flourishing Lithium-Ion Batteries Demand Propelling Continued Growth of Billion Dollar Lithium Mining Sector

PALM BEACH, Fla., Jan. 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FN Media Group News Commentary - Lithium is often called white gold due to its demand and usability in energy as well as other industries. Lithium mining remains a prominent area of investment as lithium batteries are used in electric vehicles, battery powered machinery, and others. The government is investing in lithium mining to reduce EV battery prices which ultimately reduces EV prices. On the back of such factors governments and companies are investing heavily in lithium mining. With a significant increase in the production of electric vehicles, the demand for lithium has significantly increased in recent years. The majority of the lithium produced is consumed for rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles; according to estimates, batteries account for 46% of all lithium consumption worldwide. Lithium-ion batteries are widely used in larger-scale devices such as air mobility and energy storage unit applications as well as consumer electronics such as cameras, laptops, and mobile phones which have seen a surged demand in recent years. Hence, the flourishing lithium-ion batteries demand propels the growth of the lithium mining sector. A report from Fact.MR, said the global lithium mining market size was valued to be US$ 1.2 billion in 2023 and it is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.4% to reach US$ 2.1 billion by the end of 2033. Active mining companies in the markets this week include Grounded Lithium Corp. (OTCQB: GRDAF) (TSX-V: GRD), E3 LITHIUM LTD. (OTCQX: EEMMF) (TSX-V: ETL), EMP Metals Corp. (OTCQB: EMPPF) (CSE: EMPS), Standard Lithium Ltd. (NYSE: SLI) (TSXV: SLI), LithiumBank Resources Corp. (OTCQX: LBNKF) (TSX-V: LBNK).

The report projections said: “Short Term (2023-2026): Demand across numerous end-use industries especially pharmaceuticals and electric vehicles is anticipated to drive the lithium mining market in a short go; Medium Term (2026-2029): Government investments and mining projects to meet the growing lithium demand are likely to drive the lithium mining industry during the forecast period; and Long Term (2029-2033): Adoption of advanced and sustainable technology for mining which increases output and decreases carbon emission, coupled with the discovery of new lithium reserves to create lucrative opportunities for the market players. Lithium miners are focusing on enhancing their output to bridge the supply-demand gap and gain high-profit margins. Other than this the major focus area of miners towards the adoption of sustainable extraction equipment, vehicles, and process as white gold is associated with sustainability.”

Grounded Lithium Corp. (OTCQB: GRDAF) (TSX.V: GRD) Executes Strategic Investment with Denison Mines - Provides Funds to Materially Advance the Kindersley Lithium Project - Grounded Lithium Corp. (OTCQB: GRDAF) (TSX.V: GRD) – Grounded Lithium Corp. (“GLC” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce we entered into a definitive agreement dated January 15, 2024 with Denison Mines Corp (TSX: DML) (NYSE American: DNN) (“Denison”) whereby Denison has the option to earn up to a 75% working interest in the Kindersley Lithium Project (“KLP”) by funding in aggregate up to $15,150,000 comprised of both cash payments to GLC of up to $3,150,000 and funding project expenditures of up to $12,000,000 through a structured earn-in option. (the “Agreement”).

The Agreement is expected to provide more than sufficient funding for a field pilot (the “Pilot”) for the KLP which both the Company and Denison (collectively, the “Parties”) plan to advance on a priority basis. Beyond the Pilot, Denison may also provide further capital during the earn-in period to fund other activities as necessary to drive the overall KLP value such as further technical evaluations and studies, drilling, sampling and expenditures to maintain the KLP lands in good standing.

The Agreement highlights are as follows:

  • Three distinct earn-in options (each, an “Earn-in Option”) which include a cash payment directly to the Company along with dedicated expenditures to advance the KLP, as described below. During the earn-in period, KLP expenditures will generally be funded 100% by Denison, and Denison will be entitled to an increased working interest in the KLP as it completes each Earn-in Option phase.
  • Upon funding the total amounts of each Earn-in Option, Denison has the right to either exercise the Earn-In Option and acquire the working interest associated with that Earn-In Option phase or move on to the ensuing option phase;
  • Should Denison exercise the Earn-In Option and elect to acquire a working interest in the KLP, a formal joint venture will be created to govern the Parties. The joint venture agreement will contain customary language and terms associated with an arrangement of this nature, including but not limited to, governance provisions, rights of first refusals, dilution provisions for non-participation and technical and management committees;
  • The Agreement terminates on the earlier of (i) Denison electing to acquire its working interest and convert to a formal joint venture, (ii) June 30, 2028, or (iii) a date as otherwise agreed between the Parties;
  • The ability exists for either Party to recommend drilling expenditures, outside of the earn-in option terms detailed above, for which the purpose is to preserve lithium rights associated with the various KLP permits; and
  • Denison will become the named operator of the KLP during the Earn-In Period, however, to ensure continuity of site activities, the Parties will enter into a two-year site management contract whereby a fee will be paid to the Company to effectively manage the day-to-day site activities of the KLP; and

The Company also sold a 5% gross overriding royalty (“GORR”) on the KLP to Denison in accordance with the terms of a royalty agreement (the “Royalty Agreement”) for a cash payment of $800,000. Pursuant to the terms of the Royalty Agreement, the GORR drops to 2% upon the receipt of all approvals, inclusive of GLC shareholder approval of the Agreement. The GORR is eliminated in its entirety on the date that is fifteen (15) months after the closing of the Earn-In Agreement unless Denison elects to forfeit its rights to exercise an Earn-In Option.

GLC and Denison have established an area of mutual interest in respect of any lands acquired within 10 kilometers of any existing lands contained within the KLP that are prospective for lithium (“AMI Lands”). GLC is free to explore for, acquire and develop lands outside of the AMI Lands for its own account and we currently have developed several prospects which honour our geological model for economic lithium resource plays, while we benefit from intellectual knowledge gained from the technical work on the KLP.

“Grounded remains steadfast in our vision to economically produce battery grade lithium with a focus on low-cost operations and this strategic investment from Denison is a major step in that regard,” stated Gregg Smith, President & CEO. “Denison has a considerable operating footprint in Saskatchewan as well as an excellent reputation within the Province, and we continue to be impressed with the diligence and professionalism of the Denison team. We look forward to working together to unlock the full value potential of the KLP for the benefit of our respective shareholders. Further, the strategic investment from Denison in both GLC and the KLP eliminates many perceived or distinct risks in our anticipated path to commercial production.” CONTINUED Read this full press release and more news for Grounded Lithium Corp. at:

Other recent developments in the mining industry of note include:

E3 LITHIUM LTD. (OTCQX: EEMMF) (TSXV: ETL), "E3 Lithium" or the "Company," Alberta’s leading lithium developer and extraction technology innovator, recently provided a summary of its successes in 2023 and outline its plans for growth across all aspects of its business in 2024. "We set ambitious targets for ourselves in 2023 to advance our technology and our business; we have succeeded in accomplishing every milestone," said Chris Doornbos, President and CEO. "The results we demonstrated in 2023 will continue to enable the completion of our PFS as we move into 2024. With the design of the commercial facility solidified, E3 can then contemplate a variety of growth and value creation opportunities on the back of our industry-leading resource and demonstrated DLE process."

"We set ambitious targets for ourselves in 2023 to advance our technology and our business; we have succeeded in accomplishing every milestone," said Chris Doornbos, President and CEO. "The results we demonstrated in 2023 will continue to enable the completion of our PFS as we move into 2024. With the design of the commercial facility solidified, E3 can then contemplate a variety of growth and value creation opportunities on the back of our industry-leading resource and demonstrated DLE process."

EMP Metals Corp. (OTCQB: EMPPF) (CSE: EMPS) recently announced the highlights of Hub City Lithium Corp.'s ("HCL") preliminary economic assessment (the "PEA") on the Viewfield Lithium Brine Project, Saskatchewan. The PEA outlines the estimated production of battery-quality lithium carbonate equivalent ("lithium carbonate" or "LCE") over a 23-year period, which represents an estimated a pre-tax internal rate of return ("IRR") of 55% and a pre-tax net present value ("NPV") of $1.49 billion USD, at an 8% discount rate.

Rob Gamley, EMP CEO, commented, "We are very pleased with the results of this Preliminary Economic Assessment. With payback in approximately two years, a 23-year project life and a pre-tax IRR of 55%, our Viewfield project is clearly a world class Lithium asset. The PEA study underpins a significant property value and highlights the benefits of excellent brine concentrations, low operating costs and close proximity to local infrastructure in one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world. The outstanding metrics demonstrated in the PEA represents a highly attractive scenario for EMP shareholders and supports the remarkable potential of this project as we quickly move to a commercial pilot."

Standard Lithium Ltd. (NYSE American: SLI) (TSXV: SLI), a leading near-commercial lithium development company, recently provided an update on the commercial progress of its Phase 1A Project at LANXESS' South Plant near El Dorado, Arkansas. The Company has engaged Citi to facilitate strategic financing and partnership options for the Phase 1A Project, as well as for advancing the broader South West Arkansas project and the Company’s initiatives in East Texas.

In line with its strategic focus on core operations, LANXESS Corporation (“LANXESS”) has communicated its plans to commercialize its role in the Phase 1A Project alongside Standard Lithium. The cooperative framework is to include a brine supply and disposal agreement, a lease agreement for the production facility site, and the provisioning of certain infrastructure services. Details of the future cooperation are the subject of ongoing negotiations. These agreements will form the basis of the operational framework for the Phase 1A Project.

LithiumBank Resources Corp. (OTCQX: LBNKF) (TSXV: LBNK) recently announced it has entered into an option agreement dated December 20, 2023 (the "Option Agreement") pursuant to which the Company has granted the optionee the option to purchase one or more of the Company's three lithium brine projects, Estevan, South and Kindersley (the "Assets") located in Saskatchewan, Canada (collectively, the "Options").

Concurrently with entering into the Option Agreement, the optionee has paid to the Company a non-refundable deposit of $8 million. The optionee may exercise one or more of the Options by paying the applicable purchase price as set out in the option agreement, less the deposit, to the Company at any time until March 31, 2024, upon which time the Options shall automatically terminate.

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