Wealth Arranges $1.5M in Loans, Renegotiates Atacama Project Option Payment Terms and Provides Corporate Update
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wealth Minerals Ltd. (the “Company” or “Wealth”) – (TSXV: WML; OTCQX: WMLLF; SSE: WMLCL; Frankfurt: EJZN), announces that, subject to TSX Venture Exchange (“TSXV”) acceptance, the Company has secured loans in the aggregate amount of $1.5 million (the “Loans”) with certain arm’s length lenders (the “Lenders”).
The Loans have a one year term and bear interest at a rate of 8% per annum compounded annually, payable on the maturity date. The Company has agreed to issue in aggregate 3,750,000 non-transferable bonus common share purchase warrants (each, a “Bonus Warrant”) to the Lenders. Each Bonus Warrant will entitle the holder to purchase one common share in the capital of the Company at an exercise price of $0.40 per share for a period of one year. All securities issued pursuant to the Loans will be subject to a hold period of four months and one day in Canada from the date of issuance. The funds available from the Loans will be used for general working capital and to make property payments on the Company’s Atacama lithium project (“Atacama” or the “Atacama project”).
Revised Atacama Project Option Terms
The Company has renegotiated the terms of the Atacama Option to Purchase Agreement (see news release dated November 23, 2016) with the underlying property vendor, Atacama Lithium SpA, under which agreement Wealth has been given the exclusive right and option to acquire a 100% royalty-free interest in 144 exploration concessions comprising in aggregate 46,200 hectares in Region II of Antofagasta, northern Chile.
Pursuant to the renegotiated terms, the remaining USD $5,000,000 cash payment and issuance of 5,000,000 Wealth common shares due March 1, 2019, has been rescheduled as follows:
|Cash USD $||Wealth Shares||Due Date|
|$500,000||5,000,000||February 19, 2019|
|$2,000,000||-||March 31, 2019|
|$2,500,000||-||January 31, 2020|
Henk Van Alphen, CEO of Wealth, commented, “Given the current soft state of the equity market for lithium-focused companies, these revised terms will benefit Wealth’s shareholders as management continues to seek the best options for funding the Company’s property option payments and work programs.”
Asset Portfolio Update
Wealth has completed a comprehensive review of its lithium asset portfolio and, as a result, changes have been implemented to conserve cash and focus the Company’s financial and human resources on the its most impactful projects, namely the Atacama and Trinity projects.
At the Laguna Verde project, the project size has been reduced, allowing the Company to focus on the claims considered to have the most potential. The Laguna Verde property option has been relinquished, however the Salar Green & Union property options remain in good standing, resulting in a Laguna Verde project area reduction from approximately 8,738 hectares to 6,300 hectares. In practical terms, this means that the claims relating to the above-ground surface brine are no longer held by the Company under option and the remaining claims cover areas considered prospective for sub-surface brines. The interpretation of brine potential results from extensive geophysical Transient Electromagnetic (TEM) surveys completed by the Company on the Laguna Verde Project (see news release dated September 17, 2018). The Company continues to hold all property areas where TEM data has established drill targets.
The Five Salars project, acquired under option in April 2017, has been relinquished in its entirety in consideration for a USD $500,000 payment to the underlying property vendor, Atacama Lithium SpA, and the Company has no further obligations for or interest in the property.
In connection with the project review process, the Company has also acquired three new project areas, subject to TSXV acceptance thereof. The Flamenco, Vapor and Harry projects (the “Acquisitions”) (Figure 1) have been acquired for total consideration of 1,450,000 common shares of the Company. With the acquisition of the Harry project (Figure 2), Wealth has increased its land position in the Atacama basin from 46,200 hectares to approximately 54,100 hectares.
The Flamenco project is located in the Huasco salar and consists of 2,800 hectares. The Flamenco acquisition provides Wealth with a position in the Huasco without incurring future cash option payment obligations. Huasco is a play with consolidation potential. Other land owners in the Huasco salar include Freeport McMoRan, BHP Billiton and Codelco. Readers are cautioned that the properties held by Freeport McMoRan, BHP Billiton 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 position in the Huasco salar.
The Vapor project is located in the Ollague salar and consists of 4,200 hectares. Recent drilling activity by a peer company in the area returned lithium grades up to 480 Li mg/l. Readers are cautioned that the properties held by a peer company 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 position in the Ollague salar.
Photos accompanying this announcement are available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/eb649c49-c3a2-422b-b6a6-0c3f06e23013
Henk Van Alphen, CEO of Wealth, commented, “The Acquisitions provide Wealth with an extended land position in the Atacama basin, and continued optionality with what I believe to be an inevitable lithium project consolidation in Chile. The Acquisitions have been completed without cash payments, allowing the Company to preserve cash moving forward. Wealth retains its core focus on Atacama, but also continues to have a promising portfolio of assets, any one of which could be a company-maker in its own right.”
Keith J. Henderson, P.Geo, a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, has reviewed the scientific and technical information that forms the basis for the technical disclosure in this news release. Mr. Henderson is not independent of the Company as he is a shareholder, a consultant to the Company and holds incentive stock options of the Company.
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 and development of lithium projects in South America. To date, the Company has positioned itself to develop the Quisquiro salar in Chile (the Trinity project), as well as to work alongside existing producers in the prolific Atacama salar, where the Company has a substantial licenses package. The Company has also positioned itself to play a role in asset consolidation in Chile with various lithium properties throughout the country.
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: Marla Ritchie
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, the receipt by the Company and the amount of the proceeds from the Loans, anticipated exploration program results from exploration activities, the Company’s expectation that it will be able to enter into agreements to acquire interests in additional mineral properties, the discovery and delineation of mineral deposits/resources/reserves, future cash and share payments pursuant to the Atacama Option to Purchase Agreement, and the anticipated business plans and timing of future activities of the Company, 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. In making the forward-looking statements in this news release, the Company has applied several material assumptions, including without limitation, that market fundamentals will result in sustained lithium demand and prices, the receipt of any necessary permits, licenses and regulatory approvals in connection with the future development of the Company’s Chilean lithium projects in a timely manner, the availability of financing on suitable terms for the development, construction and continued operation of the Company projects, and the Company’s ability to comply with environmental, health and safety laws.
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, 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, the fact that the Company’s interests in its mineral properties (including the Atacama Project and Trinity project) are options only and there is no guarantee that the Company’s interests in same, if earned, will be certain, requirements for additional capital, future prices of lithium, changes in general economic conditions, changes in the financial markets and in the demand and market price for commodities, lack of investor interest in future financings, accidents, 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, approvals or authorizations (including acceptance by the TSXV for the Loans, the Bonus Warrants and the Acquisitions), 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.