Bonnie Claire Lithium property hosts Inferred resource of 11.8 Billion pounds of lithium carbonate equivalent
Potential to be the largest lithium resource globally
Message: RE: Response to Outstanding Inquiries
Please see company response to outstanding inquiries below;
what is our strategy going forward from here. Are we going to proceed with some PP's in order to advance the drilling or are we going to standby and try and lock in a long-term financial partner. The company has been reviewing alternative financing opportunities that will allow it to proceed with it’s next phase of exploration/development
It is my understanding that further drilling will increase the inferred resource. Yes, as well as complete a complaint 43-101 and to provide tonnage (bulk sampling) for further development with processing technology
Given the size of the inferred resource it would seem appropriate that some of the biggest players in this space would be interested in participating in this project at Bonnie Claire. Yes
If the financing can be pinned down, we will move forward with the creation substantial incremental shareholder value.
One more thing management has done an incredible job with this project, given limited financial resources.
Some have suggested that the Board of ICM could be looking for a buyout of some kind. So they are suggesting that management is waiting for some reports that would make the buyout possible. A company with this quality of project is always exploring the right opportunities whether in a strategic partner and/or potential buyout with the right prospect. The management has greater priorities to focus it’s efforts on than provide what would be an analyst report.
1) CEO Verified Discussion Forum
What is the purpose of the launch of a CEO Verified Discussion“ forum? In my opinion the directors of the company won’t be able to openly discuss the majority of questions asked by interested parties since material announcements have to be presented to all shareholders at the same time via news releases. Correct, otherwise it would be considered insider information. The company will answer all questions it is able to answer.
2) Bulk tonnage
How much kg or tons of ore from Bonnie Claire did Iconic Minerals send to St-Georges Eco-Mining back in September 2018 The specific amounts will be available to the public once SX’s report is available to the public. and did any additional shipments happened afterwards? Yes.How much ore is stored or readily available for additional metallurgical tests? Enough for several months of testing. Does St-Georges Eco-Mining still has enough material to complete Stage 2?Yes. Did they ask for additional material from Iconic Minerals? Yes, for continued development.
3) St-Georges Eco-Mining Report
„An initial draft report for the Phase 1 and parts of Phase 2 of its contractual agreement with Iconic Minerals has been shared confidentially with the principals of both companies.“ It is my understanding that St-Georges Eco-Mining didn’t deliver a full (stage 1) report on purpose as they will probably file for another patent first. Can you confirm that this is only a strategic approach to protect the IP? Yes, and waiting for an independent lab to verify results.It is a little odd that we now have two incomplete phases and no performance shares have been issued yet. Which elements of the phase 2 were accelerated? See independent lab answer.
„The Company is planning to conduct further tests in the coming days and will follow with the delivery of a confidential draft report to its partner, Iconic Minerals (TSX-V:ICM), that will cover the phase 1 of the development agreement and encompass some elements of the phase 2 for which testing was accelerated.“ See independent lab answer.
„The Company will disseminate further News Releases when any Compensation Shares are issued.“
It is my understanding that this Lithium-in-Clay extraction report in combination with the NI 43-101 RE is critical to advance discussions with potential strategic partners / financing groups / interested parties etc. According to the latest financial statement there was next to nil money left to pay the bills / advance neither Bonnie Claire / Smith Creek / Hercules. I understand that the companies intention is to close the open placement announced back in January 2018 for up to $2,805,000 (up to 11,000,000 units at a price of $0.255 per Unit). http://iconicminerals.com/news/iconic-announces-negotiation-of-equity-financing-up-to-2805000 The company refused thus far to lower the price per unit despite the fact, that the company is trading way below the intented offering price. What alternatives is the company checking right now? n/a
5) St-Georges Private Placement
According to the latest financial statement Iconic Minerals didn’t has the $100,000 to invest into the share capital of St-Georges. Where did the money come from and what are the terms and conditions of this financing deal? n/a
6) Royalty agreement with St-Georges Eco-Mining
The following statement can be found in the financial statement of Iconic Minerals but is not mentioned in either Iconic Minerals nor St-Georges Eco-Minings press release. "The Company is entitled to receive 20% of royalties received by SX from other operations within a specified area“. I'd like to find out more about the terms and conditions and what this "specified area" means. Are we talking about Nevada? 800 mile radius from the Bonnie Claire
7) Brine sample results of drill hole BC1801
What happened to the brine sample results and did the company gain any new conclusions? According to the news release from 1st of August 2018 „Brine sampling of BC1801 will take place this week, now that the hole fluids have returned to their natural state." ; „Brine samples will be analyzed by Western Environmental Testing Laboratory." ; „Despite the samples being exposed to contamination from the drilling mud and injected water, samples of water/brine were also collected through the extent of the drill hole. These water/brine samples will be filtered and assayed for lithium and boron to help identify zones which will be targeted for detailed brine sampling.“ The focus on the drilling of BC1801 was for the sediments, brine was secondary. This was tonnage specifically targeted to qualify for enough data to complete the 43-101 lithium “sediments” not brine. The lab results for the brine samples is only for an internal use, a collection of data, which is not material at this time. Therefore, not required to release to the public.
8) By-product credits
The company has not revealed much about the concentrations of other elements that may be amenable to recovery including boron or potassium. One can find a few information with regards to potassium content when studying page 46 of the NI 43-101 RE (Figure 11-1 Drill Hole Log for BC 16-01 (First 600 Feet)) but that is all information available. One can get the impression that the company doesn't want to release any information on this topic despite the huge potential of these "by-products". St-Georges Eco-Mining also mentioned High Purity MgO in a previous monthly progress report. Any information regarding the monetization of by products such as potassium of sulphate? The potential by-products and the efficiencies and economics of the by-products are relevant to SX’s technology. The current focus is the extraction of the lithium and running efficiency tests primarily on the lithium, the by-products are secondary and would require much more material from the Bonnie Claire, and test with the specific focus on the extraction of the by-products. This would be a separate report, again not the primary focus of the company.
9) Purification of Lithium
What is meant by „commercial“ quality? Industrial grade... all other applications that lithium is used for in products outside of lithium batteries 99.99% lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide.This is not a common term to describe the qualitiy of lithium hydroxide or any other lithium product. Anything less than 99.99% is considered to be commercial or industrial, however, there are numerous profitable products that use lithium.
„Phase 3 testing will focus on purifying the lithium to reach lithium hydroxide commercial quality.“ 99.99%
„Quality of the lithium hydroxide and lithium metal to be produce remains unknown."
10) Exploration plans
Is below statement still the actual state of affairs and is the company ready to drill after competition of the financing efforts? Yes.
„Final exploration plans are being formulated for five 90 meters (300 feet) deep drill holes to test shallow lithium-rich sediments under linear surface lithium highs at Bonnie Claire. If successful, the area will become a source for further bulk sampling for pilot plant studies, requiring large amounts of sediment. In addition to the ongoing metallurgical work and shallow drilling the longer-term plan is to drill one deep core hole up to 1,200 meters (4,000 feet) deep to determine the vertical extent of the lithium-rich sediments. After the core hole is drilled, ten to fifteen deep mud-rotary holes, spaced roughly 1.6 km (1.0 miles) apart, are planned to greatly expand the soon to be reported resource.“
11) Mining methods
According to GRE conventional mining methods are not expected to be useable for the Bonnie Claire project due to the high water table and full saturation of the mineral resource. In my opinion the considered alternatives (Dredging, Jetted Drilling and Pumpin, In-Situ) doesn't match St-Georges Eco-Minings approach of ore reduction. Which part of the puzzle am I missing here and what are the next stepts to proof the most likely mining concept? You would have to ask St-George, who uses language that is suitable for all lithium mediums. “Ore” which is ground up and then placed into solution, takes one more step than a “sediment” (essentially mud) that is placed into solution.
12) PEA / PFS
Are there any plans to skip the PEA and move directly to the Pre Feasibility Study? Yes, streamlining is a strategy, the Pre-Feas requires the same information as most of the components of the PEA.
13) "Property B"
What is the status of this property? According to the AGORACOM company profile the company still has "Two other highly prospective Lithium exploration properties also located in Nevada." but my understanding is, that Iconic Minerals has only optioned Smith Creek right now and the Valley Spring project is availalbe for option since quite some time. The company does not want to dilute any capital efforts on a property that would detract from proving out a commercially viable property. It wouldn’t be sensible until Bonnie Claire has been proven out.
14) Hercules / Spin-out of gold assets
The spin-out of the gold assests has been considered as an option some time ago. e.g. in the Metals News interview with Dr. Allen Alper from 22nd of March 2017. It is still a consideration for the right deal that would benefit the company and its shareholders.
I'd be interested in an update with regards to the gold assets. It is my understanding that the company has been in default with regards to Hercules for some time and under the terms of the amended agreement has to invest $550,000 on or before November 17, 2019 in exploration expenditures. There has been no further exploration. The optionor is not enforcing any default on the property.
"The plan is to spin out the gold assets, unlock the values in each, as a project. The current shareholders would receive a dividend from that spin-off." What is the question?
15) Presentation / Corporate Update / Outlook
When can we expect a updated presentation / outlook or a corporate update from the company?
16) Share holder communication
Why was and is it so difficult to get in touch with representatives of the company? From my understanding several shareholders called or emailed the company over the last couple months but in the majority of cases without success. Phone calls were not answered and no reply to emails either. I completely understand that some questions can not be answered / addressed. I do understand that the company is operating with low funds and IR might be the least concern but since Iconic Minerals is not a private but public company shareholder should expect at least a short reply at times. Many are concerned because of this lack of communication. Who is in charge of IR? Is the company currently in a blackout and if so since when? Agoracom was retained to help facility communication flow.
17) Non Disclosure Agreements
I assume that Iconic Minerals has signed a NDA with St-Georges Eco-Mining to ensure that the IP is protected accordingly. Can you confirm my assumption? I’d also like to know if Iconic Minerals has signed any additional Non Disclosure Agreements at the present moment with other parties like industry groups / industry suppliers / financing groups / interested parties etc. and if so how many? Yes on both accounts.
18) Marketing / increase of public awareness
The potential of lithium in clays/sediments projects within the state of Nevada has become a more openly discussed topic over the last couple months, especially due to progress made on other projects. As reference I’d like to mention projects like Thacker Pass (Lithium Americas/ Lithium Nevada Corp.) ; Rhyolite Ridge (ioneer Ltd) or Clayton Valley Project (Cypress Development Corp.). Despite the fact that Iconic Minerals has proven the biggest inferred resource known as of now - 5.370 billion kg = 28.584 billion kilograms (28.584 million tonnes) of LCE - the company doesn’t seem to get much attention. I understand that the company’s main goal is to create hard data/facts and doesn’t want to attract „day traders“ but the company has to increase awareness at some point. Marketing efforts require capital as well, and until the company has recapitalized all funds are being utilized to advance the project for the benefits of the long term shareholders. I’d like to know what the company’s strategy is. An outdated - though well done - corporate video streamed twice on FOX Business Network obviously didn’t do the trick. What’s next? What do you think is the reason that Iconic Minerals is rarely mentioned in any peer group comparison? Probably because the Bonnie Claire wouldn’t be a very attractive comparison to whichever group is trying to highlight their own project. The Bonnie Claire’s resource is larger and as a company have progressed (technologically) the opportunity to actually have a project which could go into production.
19) Fresh Water
Did the company at any time come across fresh water during the drilling of the four holes and what would be the implications of finding fresh water? No, any “water” was non-potable.
20) Environmental issues
According to the current state of knowledge, what would be the biggest environmental issues? None. It’s a desert, there is no fresh water, or species that would impacted. The company will have to include a bird migration study. However, that is not anticipated that it would be an issue.
21) In Situ Leach Mining / In-Situ Recovery
Considering the already known depth of the basin and the thickness of the lithium bearing layers, I wonder if the company is currently also looking into In Situ Leach Mining / In-Situ Recovery as proposed by GRE? Yes, and there are other consulting groups which the company has identified to consider for inclusion on the project. Considering the nature of the sediments this seems to be the only conceivable option/method to target lithium in the higher mineralized zones as visualised in „Figure 10-2 Lithium Grade Distribution with Depth in Four Holes“ on page 43 of the Mineral Resource Estimate Technical Report. From my point of view this would be the only explanation for the longer-term plan to drill one deep core hole up to 1,200 meters (4,000 feet) deep to determine the vertical extent of the lithium-rich sediments. In addition to confirming depth of the lithium contained in the sediments, the core hole will be drilled to allow detailed study of core as opposed to cuttings.
22) Search for Lithium Brine
Considering the recent „breakthroughs“ with regards to St-Georges Eco-Mining’s Lithim-in-Clay extraction process, is Iconic Minerals still „interested“ in finding lithium brine on the Bonnie Claire claims or will the company focus on the lithium bearing sediments? The company is primarily focused on the sediments, concurrent with the drilling out a compliant resource, any data that is available relating to the brines will be kept for a potential study in the future. However, sediments is the focus.
23) Cash Demand
Could you please give us a rough estimate what the cash demand will be for the next required steps to advance/derisk the project like bulk sampling, near surface excavation tests, infill drilling, permitting, NI 43-101 resource upgrade, pilot plant operation(s), PEA and PFS?
24) Master Plan
First of all it is not my intention to offend anyone but considering the skill sets of the current management/board of directors I am wondering what the prefered scenario is with regards to the further development of the Bonnie Claire project. In my opinion Richard Kern did a superb job in staking the claims within this unique basin and he had the foresight to also secure claims in two additional and promising basins. It is out of questions that geology is his area of expertise. However bringing this flagship project into production requires a different set of skills. The way I see it is, that the company won’t be able to bring this project to production or a pre-production stage on it’s own, which leaves either partnering or selling the project once it is further advanced/derisked = Indicated/Measured Resource NI 43-101 approved, advanced metallurgy, pilot operations demonstrating the feasibility, economic efficiency and quality of the end product(s)...
Mr. Kern actually has the ability to advance a project to a production stage. He has been integral advancing two gold mines into production. The necessary experts that relate to chemical engineering will obviously be retained at the appropriate state in the development of the project, however, Mr. Kern has the skill and experience to act in the capacity of a COO.
However, all options are considered. Whether is a strategic partner, or a potential acquisition.
25) Other extraction techniques
Has any other / additional technology company approched Iconic Minerals over the months (or years) to assist in the development of a suitable extraction technique for the Bonnie Claire project and if so, what were the outcome of these discussions? Yes, however the company is under NDAs
26) Technical advisors
Has the company recently been approched by any „technical advisor“ / „consultant“ or has the company any specific plans to add some additional expertise in the near future? Is Dr. Ian Hutcheon still part of the advisory board and if so is he the „driving force“ to further look into lithium brines? Mr. Hutcheon is still available for consulting/advising
27) Royalty Agreement
Do you think that this royalty agreement with St-Georges Eco-Mining could become an issue with regards to any Joint Venture or possible Buyout discussions once the project is further de-risked? „The Parties will establish a royalty stream on the commercial output of the Property for the entire mine life, which will be opposable to any successors of Iconic as a lien on the mining assets. St-Georges and Iconic will negotiate a right of first refusal in favor of Iconic. The royalty, to be negotiated within the guidelines of the “Royalty Formula”, will take the form of a 5% Net Revenue Interest or Net Revenue Return.“ No, the company does not believe so. If the SX proves the commercial viability, the royalty is deserved. SX technology would allow for the commercial production of the lithium and other by-products, as well as effectively lower the cost of the process. Also, within the exclusivity agreement, the company also has the right to receive royalties from other properties that would be able to use SX technology within an 800 mile radius.
28) Stage 3 Benchmark
As part of the agreement St-Georges has agreed to provide engineering and technical services on all licensed production sites. Stage 3 Benchmark is defined by the reception of a Preliminary Economic Assesement Report (or commercialization decision). Will St-Georges bear all costs involved to complete the PEA for the Bonnie Claire project and therefore can also decide which engineering firm will be contracted or is Iconic Minerals in charge and has to pay for the Preliminary Economic Assesment Report? What is the expected completetion date for this important milestone? The testing and the report will be the responsibility of SX, the drilling to provide the material in order for SX to complete this benchmark is left for the Company to fund.
„1,500,000 shares upon Stage 3 Benchmark completion: which is defined by the reception of a Preliminary Economical Assessment Report (PEA) or at commercialization decision or the third (3rd) year anniversary mark of this Agreement assuming other issuance have been completed.“
29) Incorporation of Lithium Brine
In a press release from January 9, 2018 Iconic Minerals stated that „If significant lithium brines are discovered they will be incorporated into St-George’s ongoing lithium recovery testing program.“ However, Frank mentioned in a recent video interview ( released on April 4, 2019 - https://insidexploration.com/st-georges-eco-mining-frank-dumas-and-enrico-di-cesare-talk-extraction-technologies/ approx. minute 18:00) that they won’t handle / touching lithium brines at all. Could you please elaborate on this topic? The brines would be a completely different study and development. Both companies are focused on the sediments and SX is dually focused on ore.
30) Conflict of Interest
From you point of view what are the implications that St-Georges Eco-Mining applies this unique and proprietory extraction process not only to alternative sources like lithium in clay/sediment as previously intended but also to conventional hardrock sources like spodumene? The company has no substantial comments, it does not believe it would affect its own endeavors. Hardrock is a completely different type resource, located in different jurisdictions with different size potentials with a hard rock resource.
„A break through to achieve over 99% at atmospheric pressure and low temperature was achieved reducing capex and simplifying the current assumptions that the industry has for hard rock leaching.“
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