Lithium is on the list of the 35 minerals considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States as first published by the U.S. Department of the Interior on May 18, 2018. In June 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy published a report titled “National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries 2021-2030” (henceforth, the “NBLB Report”) which was developed by the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (“FCAB”), a collaboration by the U.S. Departments of Energy, Defense, Commerce, and State. According to the Report, one of the main goals of this U.S. government effort is to “secure U.S. access to raw materials for lithium batteries.” In the NBLB Report, Ms. Jennifer M. Granholm, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, states: “Lithium-based batteries power our daily lives from consumer electronics to national defense. They enable electrification of the transportation sector and provide stationary grid storage, critical to developing the clean-energy economy.”
The NBLB Report summarizes as follows the U.S. government’s views on the needs for lithium and the expected growth of the lithium battery market:
“A robust, secure, domestic industrial base for lithium-based batteries requires access to a reliable supply of raw, refined, and processed material inputs…”
“The worldwide lithium battery market is expected to grow by a factor of 5 to 10 in the next decade.”
Our Minas Gerais Lithium Project encompasses 54 mineral rights for lithium located in the northern part of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, in the municipalities of Araçuai, Itinga, Coronel Murta, Rubelita, Taiobeiras, and Virgem da Lapa.
Our Minas Gerais Lithium Project currently encompasses 54 mineral rights spread over approximately 59,275 acres (240 km2). Several of our mineral rights are located adjacent to or near mineral rights that belong to a large publicly traded competitor company which has demonstrated through extensive drilling the presence of lithium deposits totaling over 80 million tons, according to its publicly available filings.
Our exploratory work to date in some mineral rights in our Minas Gerais Lithium Project has determined the existence of hard rock pegmatites with lithium mineralization. Given the proximity to areas of economically significant lithium deposits, our technical experts believe that one or more areas of our Minas Gerais Lithium Project may also contain similar lithium deposits.