Latin America News Q2 2018

LATINAMERICANEWS / Q2 2018 13 Chinese Lithium Acquisition Spree Shifts from Chile to Argentina g (and the resistance to Tianqi) known as Corfo followed up their block request by announcing it had also approved $754 million in new lithium industry investments. Some of these investments still came from Chinese and South Korean interests, but the timing of Corfo’s attempted blockade of Tianqi Lithium was on March 9th, whereas the $754 million-announcement was only on March 12th-leaving an impression of doubt for the foreign investment community. Among this community, China is spearheading all types of mergers and acquisition, with Tianqi Lithium and Ganfeng Lithium leading the way. So, while Corfo sends mixed signals to the world with its move to block Tianqi from acquiring a stake in Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile, Argentina is stepping up to take on all comers. Prior to the Tianqi offer in Chile, NRG Metals Inc.already made an example of a healthy relationship with a Chinese investment partner. NRG METALS LEADING BY EXAMPLE Back in November of 2017, NRG Metals Inc. finalised its own major deal in the form of a strategic alliance with Chinese high-purity lithium manufacturers Chengdu Chemphys Chemical Industry Co., Ltd (“Chemphys”). The alliance proudly announced in January 2018 that Chemphys would have representation on the NRG Board of Directors. Company President Adrian F.C. Hobkirk said in the announcement: “We are very pleased to have obtained the support of our shareholders in regards to our business plan for the exploration and development of lithium projects in Argentina. We welcome Ms. Dai to the board of the Company, and look forward to working closely with Chemphys to quickly advance the development of the Company.” The Chemphys deal represented a major shift for companies the in the same size category, and development stage as NRG. The Chinese lithium firm entered the partnership with the junior to advance the exploration and development of NRG’s flagship Hombre Muerto North Lithium Project (“HMN Project”). And the relationship is already paying off, as the HMN Project has already secured a contract for initial drilling, with drilling expected to commence in April 2018. Sampling on the project at the beginning of the year yielded very high lithium values, with several sites returning values over 1000 mg/l Li. Similarly, high values were already reported on the company’s other Argentinean asset the Salar Escondido Lithium Project-Phase II drilling has just recently began on the massive 29,000-hectare property. With Chemphys supporting the process, and a push from the Argentinean government to move lithium projects forward, NRG Metals Inc. appears capable of becoming a major benefactor from the coming sea-change of lithium activity from Chile to Argentina. POTENTIAL COMPARABLES Lithium X Energy Corp. Lithium X Energy Corp., is a resource company operating as a lithium explorer and developer in Argentina and the United States. The company owns a 50% interest in the Sal de los Angeles project comprising 8,156 hectares located in Salta Province, Argentina. Lithium X Energy Corp. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Millennial Lithium Corp. Millennial Lithium engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of lithium mineral properties and oil and gas resource properties. It primarily holds 100% interest in the Pastos Grandes Lithium Project located in Salta Province, Argentina. Millennial Lithium Corp. was incorporated in 2005 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Orocobre Limited Orocobre Limited explores for and develops lithium and potash deposits in Argentina. Its flagship project is the Salar de Olaroz lithium project located in north-west province of Jujuy. The company also produces boron minerals and refined chemicals. Orocobre Limited is based in Milton, Australia. Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A., is a producer of potassium nitrate and iodine. The Company produces specialty plant nutrients, iodine derivatives, lithium and its derivatives, potassium chloride, potassium sulfate and certain industrial chemicals. Its segments include specialty plant nutrients, industrial chemicals, iodine and derivatives, lithium and derivatives, potassium, and other products and services Lithium and its derivatives are used in batteries, greases and frits for production of ceramics. Potassium chloride is a commodity fertilizer that is produced and sold by the Company across the world.