Brazilian Government Commits to Foster the Development of the Lithium Value Chain

Wednesday, 21. August 2019 12:00

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sigma Lithium Resources Corporation (“Sigma” or the “Company”) (TSX-V: SGMA) is pleased to announce that it participated in a public symposium held at the Municipal Chamber of Itinga with senior Federal, State and Local Brazilian government officials. The purpose of the symposium was to discuss how to further facilitate and develop the Lithium Value Chain by creating an industrial zone dedicated to the development of the lithium chemical processing in the Jequitinhonha Valley, building on Sigma’s investments in mining lithium in the region.

The public meeting was organized by Federal, State and Municipal senior government officials, including congressmen from various political parties who are representatives in the Jequitinhonha Valley.

Amongst the key participants were the Brazilian Deputy Minister of Mines (Secretary of State for Geology, Mining and Mineral Transformation of the Ministry of Mines and Energy), the Mayors of 17 towns in the Jequitinhonha Valley, key Federal and State Congressmen as well as representatives from the UmVale association and the chambers of commerce of the Jequitinhonha Valley municipalities.

“We are thrilled that our green mining operation has harnessed such deep support from Federal, State and Local Government as well as from key political leaders of different parties and with distinct ideologies”, said Ana Cabral, Sigma’s Chief Strategy Officer.

“The development of local infrastructure could potentially attract chemical industrial companies to the region and create the appropriate business environment for the introduction of the refined chemical processing step of the lithium mineral. Sigma has produced on a pilot scale a pre-chemical 6% battery-grade lithium oxide for use in electric vehicles or energy storage for utilities. With the right industrial infrastructure, such as a gas pipeline, an entire new industry could flourish in the Jequitinhonha Valley to produce the lithium hydroxide chemical, generating significant economic and social development value”, she added.

Amongst the various initiatives discussed were the construction of a gas pipeline in a public-private partnership, a railway network connection and the creation of further business incentives, in addition to those available under the SUDENE initiative.

“This meeting demonstrated the commitment of the Brazilian Government in supporting Sigma and the desire to further develop a new sustainable lithium industrial hub in the Jequitinhonha Valley, one of the poorest parts of Brazil, and bring to the local population jobs, opportunities and economic development”, said Itamar Resende, Sigma’s Director of Sustainability, Institutional and Community Relations. “These initiatives go to the heart of our core purpose and mission, as Sigma was founded on key Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) principles to produce battery-grade lithium concentrate and contribute to the development of the impoverished Itinga, Araçuaí and surrounding municipalities,” he added.

To learn more about the meeting and what the Brazilian Minister of Mines as well as Mayors have to say about the development opportunity, click here to watch an in-depth subtitled TV news report.

In June, Sigma obtained the environmental licenses for both construction (“LP”) and installation (“LI”) of its Lithium Commercial Production Plant (“Plant”) from the environmental authority of the State of Minas Gerais, the Council of Environmental Policy (“Conselho Estadual de Politica Ambiental – COPAM”) in Brazil. Based on the design being considered under the ongoing feasibility study (“DFS”), the Plant will have the capacity to process 1.8 million metric tonnes of spodumene ore per year from its Grota do Cirilo property. The lithium process design is proprietary and includes DMS technology.

“We are very fortunate to be working in such a business-friendly region and in a country with stable economic, legal and regulatory frameworks. In addition, the Jequitinhonha Valley is a privileged resource-rich low-cost location supported by clean energy from hydroelectric power generation. By fostering the lithium industry, the government authorities and the political parties with representation in the area have a unique opportunity to contribute to a deep transformation of the region, supporting the sustainable development of the communities. Should the Local, State and Government authorities move forward with the construction of a gas pipeline, for example, it would represent a significant advancement and contribute towards the development of a competitive Lithium Value Chain in Brazil,” said Ana Cabral.

Sigma is projected to produce 220,000 tonnes per year of high-quality battery-grade 6% lithium oxide concentrate, or spodumene, with one of the lowest levels of impurities in the world, which according to the studies completed so far will likely be one of the lowest-cost lithium mine operations globally. Once production is under way, Sigma stands to become one of the largest producers of lithium in the Americas. The Company also has the option to double capacity to produce 440,000 tonnes per year, subject to completion of all related studies and assessments.

INDEPENDENT QUALIFIED PERSON
The technical and scientific information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Marc Antoine Laporte, P.Geo., M. Sc., of SGS Canada Inc. Mr. Laporte is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and is independent of Sigma.

ABOUT SIGMA LITHIUM
Sigma is developing a lithium hard-rock mineral deposit with exceptional mineralogy at its properties in the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil. The Company’s output is destined for the fast-growing lithium-ion battery market, which is driven by the increasing demand for electric vehicles and energy storage worldwide.

Sigma commissioned its Phase I pilot plant and has produced over 100 tonnes of samples of battery grade spodumene lithium concentrate from its high-quality deposits. Sigma is on track to become a major spodumene concentrate supplier to the lithium battery industry worldwide.

Sigma’s corporate mission is to execute its strategy while embracing environmental, social and governance principles. Sigma’s shareholders include some of the leading ESG-focused global institutional investors.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
Sigma Lithium Resources Corporation 
www.sigmalithiumresources.com
Company Contact:
Anna Hartley
Director of Investor Relations
55 11 2985-0089
anna.hartley@sigmaca.com  

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to Sigma’s objectives, the potential for increased resources, concentration plant construction and expected production levels, achieving sustainable production and other statements that are not historical facts. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are based will occur. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not occur, which may cause actual performance and results in future periods to differ materially from any estimates or projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These assumptions, risks and uncertainties include, among other things: the state of the economy in general and capital markets in particular, the availability of project financing for the construction and operation of the Plant on reasonable terms, investor interest in the business and future prospects of Sigma and the settlement of definitive offtake and other commercial agreements. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, Sigma disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities law. Additionally, Sigma undertakes no obligation to comment on the expectations of, or statements made, by third parties in respect of the matters discussed above.

The key risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or the material factors and assumptions applied in preparing forward-looking information to differ materially from predictions, forecasts, projections, expectations or conclusions are discussed in the “Risk Factors” of Sigma’s public disclosed materials and information. We caution that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all possible factors.

For more information on the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause our actual results to differ from current expectations, please refer to our public filings available at www.sedar.com.

Neither the 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.

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