Daily Archives: October 1, 2019

Powerful Mining Rigs offer extended by BitHarp

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Oct. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BitHarp is pleased to announce an extension of its highly successful ‘3 Plus 1 Offer’ for the company’s profitable mining rigs. Introduced just a couple of weeks ago, this special promotion has been a great success amongst all types of crypto mining enthusiasts. Based on public demand, this promotion will now continue until October 12.

A New Zealand based organization; BitHarp hogged the limelight in the global crypto industry with the recent launch of its two mining rigs Lyre Miner and Harp Miner. Both these miners have been designed taking the needs of the common mining enthusiasts into account. Unlike hundreds of mining hardware that need significant knowledge and experience, the two products from www.BitHarp.com have encouraged many beginners to try their hands in crypto mining. Suitable for home use, these miners are pre-configured and can start mining as soon as they are plugged in.

Along with the ease of mining, BitHarp has also done well to ensure the profitability of their customers by delivering high hash power rates that have surprised many industry stalwarts. Moreover, Lyre Miner and Harp Miner are also amongst the most power-saving mining hardware in the market with consumptions of 600 and 2400 watts, respectively.

The two products from BitHarp can be used for mining Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Dash, with hash powers as summarized below.

Bitcoin: 335 TH/s (Lyre Miner) & 2000 TH/s (Harp Miner)

Litecoin: 55 GH/s (Lyre Miner) & 300 GH/s (Harp Miner)

Ethereum: 14 GH/s (Lyre Miner) & 75 GH/s (Harp Miner)

Dash: 9 TH/s (Lyre Miner) & 50 TH/s (Harp Miner)

“We have received numerous calls and emails from people requesting for an extension of our 3 plus 1 offer,” said a spokesperson from BitHarp. “I am pleased to announce that this offer will now remain valid until October 12.”

More about Lyre Miner and Harp Miner is available at https://www.bitharp.com/

About BitHarp: BitHarp is a New Zealand based cryptocurrency manufacturer of the most high-performance and flexible mining rigs built with the goal of making mining easier and more profitable for investors.

Media Contact
Alexa Zimine 
alexa@bitharp.com
+64 04 889 3268

Ethan Allen Launches New Membership Program

Danbury, CT, Oct. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ethan Allen, a leading global interior design company and a renowned manufacturer and retailer of quality home furnishings, announced the launch of a new Member Program that will enhance the customer experience and provide special members-only everyday savings and benefits.

Ethan Allen Member Program

“The new membership program puts our customers front and center,” says chairman and CEO, Farooq Kathwari. “Our Members will no longer have to plan projects around short-term sales and promotions; instead, they will enjoy consistent, predictable and attractive everyday savings on products for any room in their home—plus free shipping and premier in-home delivery, and in our U.S. design centers, access to special financing options. This level of value, enhanced by our complimentary design service, creates a customer experience that’s second to none.”

For an annual membership cost of $100, Ethan Allen Members will receive everyday savings of 20% on purchases, plus free shipping and premier in-home delivery. In the U.S., Ethan Allen Members will also have access to special financing options (subject to credit approval).

The member program further positions Ethan Allen as a trusted source for quality home furnishings and interior design expertise. The Ethan Allen Member Program is available in Design Centers and online at www.ethanallen.com. For more information about the new membership program or to enroll, visit www.ethanallen.com/members.

About Ethan Allen
Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (NYSE: ETH) is a leading interior design company and manufacturer and retailer of quality home furnishings. We offer complimentary interior design service to our clients and sell a full range of furniture products and decorative accessories through ethanallen.com and a network of approximately 300 Design Centers in the United States and abroad. Ethan Allen owns and operates five manufacturing facilities, including two manufacturing plants and one sawmill in the United States plus one plant each in Mexico and Honduras. Approximately 75% of our products are made in our North American plants. For more information on Ethan Allen’s products and services, visit ethanallen.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Geri Moran
Senior Director, Marketing
Ethan Allen Global, Inc.
geri.moran@ethanallen.com
203.743.8374

Ashley Fidler Bond
Associate Vice President
UpSpring PR
ashleybond@upspringpr.com
646.722.8146

Attachment

Sabin Vaccine Institute Receives $20.5 Million From BARDA With Potential of up to $128 Million to Develop Ebola Sudan and Marburg Vaccines

WASHINGTON, Oct. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) today announced a funding award of $20.5 million with options for an additional $107.5 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Under the terms of this agreement, the full program is expected to advance development of clinical-stage monovalent vaccines against Ebola Sudan and Marburg viruses through Phase 2 clinical trials.

Ebola Sudan and Marburg are among the world’s deadliest viruses, causing hemorrhagic fever with subsequent death in an average of 50 percent of cases.1,2 A closely related strain, Ebola Zaire, has caused more than 2,000 deaths in the past year during the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),3 leading the World Health Organization to declare it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.4 With Ebola Sudan and Marburg’s own history of outbreaks and their potential for future devastating outbreaks, preventative measures are overdue to protect civilian populations, military personnel, first responders, healthcare workers and laboratory workers, both in the United States and abroad, against these emerging infectious diseases.

“Vaccines are the most effective shield we can use against Ebola and Marburg viruses, both of which have a long history of deadly outbreaks,” said Sabin Chief Executive Officer Amy Finan. “In the years ahead, we hope to make available the reliable protection every man, woman and child needs to defend themselves against these life-threatening diseases.”

The BARDA funding will enable Sabin to advance the investigational Ebola Sudan and Marburg vaccines using the ChAd3-based platform recently licensed under an agreement between GSK and Sabin. Building on the immunogenicity and safety demonstrated in recent Phase 1 clinical trials by the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Sabin aims to advance the ChAd3 vaccines in pursuit of licensure and stockpiling. Under the terms of the agreement, the initial $20.5 million award supports process development and non-clinical activities. Additional non-clinical studies, as well as manufacturing of clinical material and Phase 2 clinical trials in the United States and Africa, may be supported by $107.5 million in additional funding.

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under Contract No. 75A50119C000555.

Learn more about Sabin’s Ebola Sudan and Marburg program.

Citations:
[1] WHO fact sheet, Ebola virus disease, accessed August 28, 2019 – available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ebola-virus-disease
[2] WHO fact sheet, Marburg virus disease, accessed August 28, 2019 – available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/marburg-virus-disease
[3] WHO, Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – Health Emergency Update, accessed August 28, 2019 – available at: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/ebola/drc-2019
[4] WHO press release, Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, accessed August 28, 2019 – available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/17-07-2019-ebola-outbreak-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo-declared-a-public-health-emergency-of-international-concern

About the Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute, a non-profit organization founded in 1993, is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Sabin’s R&D strategy focuses on continuing the development of candidate vaccines that have demonstrated early scientific value and target disease primarily impacting the world’s most vulnerable populations, but have little commercial value. The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the David E.I. Pyott Foundation provided seed funding to launch Sabin’s ChAd3 Ebola program. In past years, Sabin received more than $110 million for vaccine R&D programs from public and philanthropic funding sources, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, European Commission, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Global Health Innovative Technology Fund and the Michelson Medical Research Foundation.

Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe in the power of vaccines to change the world. For more information, visit www.sabin.org and follow us on Twitter, @SabinVaccine.

About the GSK-Sabin ChAd3 Transaction

In August 2019, GSK and Sabin entered agreements for Sabin to advance the development of the prophylactic candidate vaccines against Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan and Marburg viruses. Under the agreements, Sabin exclusively licensed the technology for all three candidate vaccines and acquired certain patent rights specific to these vaccines. The three candidate vaccines were initially developed collaboratively by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Okairos, which was acquired by GSK in 2013. The candidate vaccines, based on GSK’s proprietary ChAd3 platform, were further developed by GSK, including the Phase 2 development for the Ebola Zaire vaccine. The ChAd3-based vaccines have demonstrated strong safety profiles and encouraging immunogenicity results after being administered to more than 5,000 adults and 600 children in 13 different clinical trials to date.

About Ebola Sudan and Marburg

Ebola Sudan and Marburg are members of the Filoviridae virus family and are commonly referred to as filoviruses. Both can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. No therapeutic treatment of the hemorrhagic fevers caused by filoviruses has been licensed to date.

Marburg and Ebola viruses are transmitted to humans by infected animals, particularly fruit bats. Once a human is infected, the virus can spread to others through close personal contact or contact with bodily fluids. Isolation of infected people is currently the centerpiece of filovirus control.

Marburg was the first filovirus to be recognized in 1967 when a number of laboratory workers, including some in Marburg, Germany, developed hemorrhagic fever. Ebola was identified in 1976 when two simultaneous outbreaks occurred in northern Zaire (now the DRC) in a village near the Ebola River and southern Sudan. The outbreaks involved what eventually proved to be two different species of Ebola virus; both were named after the nations in which they were discovered.

Media Contact:
Zach Barehmi
1-321-946-6927
zach.barehmi@porternovelli.com

Sigma Lithium Announces a Positive Feasibility Study with Forecast LOM Net Revenue of US$1.4 Billion and EBITDA of US$ 690 Million for the High-Grade, Low-Cost Xuxa Deposit

Figure 1

General Site Plan

Positive results confirm an after tax NPV of US$ 249 million with cash operating costs for the Xuxa deposit of US$238 per tonne of battery grade 6% lithium oxide concentrate, amongst the lowest costs globally

The positive economics of the bankable Feasibility Study for Xuxa provide a strong platform for Sigma to continue to develop its extensive mineral properties,  which include 9 past-producing lithium mines

___________________________________

Sigma will host an investor call on October 7th, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).

Webcast Link: https://sigmalithium.clickmeeting.com/sigma-lithium-resources
Dial in:
Participant Code: 232164#
New York: +1 (917) 338-1451, Toronto: +1 (647) 497-7729, São Paulo: +55 (11) 3230-2305
Dial-in from other locations: https://account-panel.clickmeeting.com/dialplan

Sigma will present at the TSX Latam Mining Day on October 2nd, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. (EDT).

Location: TMX Gallery
130 King Street W – Toronto, ON

___________________________________

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sigma Lithium Corporation´s (the “Company” or “Sigma”) (TSX-V: SGMA) (OTCQB: SGMLF) is pleased to announce the positive results of the independent Feasibility Study (“FS”) prepared for the Xuxa deposit (“Xuxa”) with the initial development of a 1.5 million tonnes per annum (“Mtpa”) open-pit mine and lithium concentrator (“Xuxa Plant”) at Sigma’s 100% owned Grota do Cirilo Project (“Sigma Project”) located in the Vale do Jequitinhonha, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Figure 2

Xuxa Crushing and Concentration Plant Layout

Feasibility Study Highlights

  • Forecasts a life-of-mine (“LOM”) revenue from the Xuxa Plant of US$1.4 billion and an EBITDA of US$690 million over an estimated LOM of 9.2 years, at an assumed 2021 nominal arms-length price of US$ 650 per tonne for 6% lithium oxide (“Li2O”) concentrate cost insurance and freight (“CIF”) at China port.
  • The FS envisages an average annual production rate at the Xuxa Plant of
    ~220,000 tonnes of coarse green and high-quality battery grade 6% lithium oxide concentrate with low impurities (“lithium concentrate”) at operating costs of US$ 238 per tonne and total cash cost CIF China of US$ 342 per tonne, which is amongst the lowest costs globally.
  • The estimated initial capital cost (“capex”) including 10% contingency of US$ 98.4 million results in an after-tax net present value of US$249 million at 8% discount rate (“NPV 8%”) and US$299 million before-tax. The after-tax internal rate of return (“IRR”) of 43.2% and project payback period of 3.1 years illustrate the Project’s compelling economics.
  • The Xuxa Plant will benefit from a unique feed of spodumene ore with large crystals, high grade and low impurities. The average grade of 1.46% over a 9.2 year mine life is amongst the highest globally. Impurities of iron oxide (“Fe₂O₃”) are below 1% and alkalines (sodium and potassium, respectively “Na₂O” and “K₂O”) are below 0.55% each.
  • The Xuxa Mine will produce an “environmentally responsible” lithium concentrate. The Xuxa Plant will be powered by Brazil’s clean and low-cost hydroelectricity.  More than 90% of the water used in the processing will be recycled and the Xuxa Plant tailings will be managed using dry-stacking technology.

Summary of Key Xuxa Feasibility Study Outcomes

The FS for the Xuxa Mine and Xuxa Plant envisages a 1.5 Mtpa spodumene ore mining and lithium concentrate processing operation.  Building the Xuxa Mine and Xuxa Plant constitutes a low-risk execution strategy for the Company. The economics are highlighted by high operating margins generated over an estimated 9.2 years of mine life: life-of-mine (LOM) net revenue of US$ 1.4 billion and LOM EBITDA of US$ 690 million.

Figure 3

Simplified DMS Process Flow Sheet

The FS is only based only on the current open-pit mining plan without contemplating an underground mine plan.

The FS is based on a 2021 arms-length nominal price forecast of US$ 650 CIF China, and a LOM average price of US$ 733 CIF China or US$629 free on board (“FOB”) Brazil for 6% lithium concentrate. Sigma contracted Roskill to provide an outlook and overview of the lithium market. Roskill provided a comprehensive updated market study in August 2019 analyzing current and future trends in the market, prices of lithium chemicals such as lithium hydroxide, lithium carbonate, as well as prices of 6% lithium concentrate for vertically integrated and non-integrated chemical producers.

Table 1 summarizes the financial results from the FS.

Table 1. Financial Results Summary of Feasibility Study for the Xuxa Mine and Plant

Item Unit Total
Economic Returns
  Net present value (NPV 8%) After-Tax US$ 249 million
  Internal rate of return (IRR) After-Tax % 43.2%
  After-Tax Payback period years 3.1
Financials
  Life of Mine (LOM) years 9.2
  Net Revenue during LOM US$ 1.4 billion
  EBITDA during LOM US$ 690 million
  Initial Capital Expenditure (Capex) (1) US$ 98.5 million
  Exchange rate BRL/US$ (2) BRL/US$ 3.85
Costs
  Cash costs per tonne of lithium concentrate (3) US$/t 238
  Freight costs to China (3) US$/t 104
  Total Cash Cost (CIF China) US$/t 342
Market Prices Roskill Forecast in FS
  Lithium concentrate CIF China port in 2021 US$/t 650
  Lithium concentrate CIF China port average LOM US$/t 733
  Lithium concentrate FOB Brazil port average LOM US$/t 629

Notes:

Figure 4

Battery-Grade Spodumene Roskill Price Curve

  1. Initial capital includes pre-production working capital of $10.96 million and 10% contingency of $10.47 million.
  2. A conservative two-tier exchange rate was used as a base to the feasibility study. BRL 3.85 / USD 1.00 for quotes provided from third party information providers and BRL 4.10 / USD 1.00 for the amounts provided in dollars from Sigma.
  3. Cash spodumene concentrate costs include mining, processing, selling, general and administration expenses (SG&A).
  4. Freight costs include road transport to Port of Ilheus in Bahia, port storage, loading and shipping to Shanghai Port.

Background of Sigma’s Project Development Strategy

  1. Current Feasibility Study for Xuxa Mine and Construction of Xuxa Plant:
  • The positive economics of the Xuxa FS provides a strong platform for Sigma to continue to evaluate and develop its extensive 191 km2 mineral properties, which include nine past-producing lithium mines and 11 first priority exploration targets.
  • Sigma adopted a development strategy with includes low-technical execution risk and low-capital expenditures for the Grota do Cirilo Project. As a result, Sigma decided to conduct its first feasibility analysis exclusively on the Xuxa deposit. The FS contemplates a 1.5 Mtpa open-pit mine and processing plant.
  • Xuxa deposit was selected for FS evaluation because it has a unique combination of:
    • (i) A high-average grade of 1.55% Li₂O with low levels of alkaline and iron impurities, enabling ore processing through a lower technical risk dense media separation (“DMS”) plant with lower production costs. while achieving economically positive recovery results.
      Figure 5

      Forecasted Global Consumption of Lithium by First Use, 2014-2033 (000t LCE)

    • (ii) Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves totaling 13.8 Mt grading 1.46% Li2O
    • (iii) Mineralization with large crystals of spodumene enabling the production of a coarse lithium concentrate, which will have commercial competitive advantages.
  • Sigma successfully produced, on a continuous basis using DMS technology, a coarse lithium concentrate grading more than 6% lithium oxide at its pilot plant on site in Brazil.
  • Commercially, Sigma’s coarse high-quality lithium concentrate is considered a premium product by customers in the chemical industry as it allows converters to achieve higher margins and operational efficiencies. It is understood that the coarse size of the concentrate has the potential to increase the increased recoveries that can be achieved in the lithium hydroxide and carbonate chemicals production process. Table 2 summarizes the projected Xuxa Mine and Xuxa Plant forecasts at the anticipated 1.5 Mtpa production rate.

Table 2. Xuxa Mining and Concentrate Plant Forecasts at 1.5 Mtpa

Item Unit Total
Ore Processed
Total ore quantity milled (LOM)
Annual run of mine (ROM) ore milled
  Spodumene ore feed grade LOM average
  Strip ratio
tonnes
tonnes
%
Ratio :
13.8 million
1.5 million
1.46
9.6: 1
Concentrate Produced LOM Average
Lithium concentrate produced
Lithium recovery rate
Lithium concentrate grade
Lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) produced
Tonnes
%
% of Li2O
Tonnes of LCE
220,000
60.4
6
33,000
Run of Mine Costs
  Mining costs per waste and ore mined
Processing costs per tonne (ROM)
US$/t mined
US$/t ROM
2.12
11.03
  1. Subsequent development of Barreiro mine and construction of an additional module to Xuxa Plant
  • A Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) has commenced at Barreiro, Sigma’s second deposit slated for development at the Grota do Cirilo Project. The Project NI 43101 mineral resource updated as of January 6, 2019 outlined a measured and indicated mineral resource at Barreiro of 20.5 Mt of spodumene lithium with an average grade of 1.43% Li2O.
  • As under Brazil law a Plano de Aproveitamento Economico (“PAE”) was filed with the Brazilian mining regulator (“ANM”, Agencia Nacional de Mineracao), for which approval is still awaited. The PAE is not a NI 43 101 compliant document. The Barreiro-Xuxa PAE envisages an integrated 3.0 Mtpa two-stage development of the Grota do Cirilo Project, beginning with 1.5 Mtpa initial production from Xuxa mine and Plant. The PFS commissioned by Sigma will study the viability for a separate on-surface mining operation at the nearby Barreiro mine, along with the construction of an additional module to the Xuxa Plant to process an additional 1.5 Mtpa from Barreiro mine.
  • Xuxa FS and the commissioned Barreiro PFS envisages a sequenced development strategy for Sigma’s Grota do Cirilo Project with a modular, integrated, expanded joint development of Xuxa-Barreiro deposits, aiming to process a total of 3 Mtpa and an envisaged increase in production to around
    440,000 tons annually.

Sigma Lithium Resources CEO Calvyn Gardner says: “This successful Feasibility Study demonstrates that Sigma’s strategy to select Xuxa as the first deposit to be developed in the Grota do Cirilo Project has proven to be the right approach. Xuxa’s low-capital intensity creates the financial robustness to support the economics of a standalone Project.  The FS shows that Xuxa has one of the lowest production costs of battery grade lithium concentrate globally, which is also a significant commercial competitive advantage, as it ensures the project is profitable even in the current challenging lithium market environment. The high-quality, coarseness and low impurities of Xuxa’s unique battery grade lithium concentrate has the potential to transform Sigma into a leading supplier to the largest global customers in the electric vehicles and battery supply chain. I am very enthusiastic about the results of this feasibility study, as it shows that Xuxa can unlock the door to develop the entire Grota do Cirilo Project and will pave the way for project bank financing.”

“The Grota do Cirilo Project development strategy is to also bring Barreiro into production potentially using the same Xuxa Plant. Barreiro is a large-sized, high-grade, with a low strip ratio,” adds Mr. Gardner.

Sigma Lithium Resources Chief Strategy Officer Ana Cabral says: “Sigma recognizes and appreciates the collaboration of the new federal and state governments of Brazil and Minas Gerais, who are lending widespread institutional support for the significant advancement of the Project.  The specialty coarse high-grade, low impurities and low-cost lithium concentrate of the Xuxa deposit has the potential to position Brazil as a leading “green lithium” supplier to the electric vehicles’ industry globally. Sigma will use green, environmentally clean energy, powering the Xuxa Mine and Xuxa Plant from a hydroelectric plant and Brazil’s green electricity grid. Financially, Sigma’s proposed plant construction pre-payment agreement with Mitsui, could significantly lower the initial equity capital required and thus, has continued to generate wide-spread interest including memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for low-cost project financing from the commercial banks.  Results of the Feasibility Study clearly indicate that the Project offers lowered execution risk by bringing together high-grade low-cost Mineral Reserves at Xuxa with existing infrastructure which includes power, roads, and  office building, to create a low-risk brownfield project that is expected to deliver significant value to shareholders and local communities.” adds Ms. Cabral.

Independent Consultants Preparing the Feasibility Study

Sigma’s Feasibility Study has been completed to the highest standard. The following international consultants were commissioned to prepare the study:

  • Geology and Mineral resources – SGS Geological Services Canada (SGS).
  • Mining, mine design and Mineral Reserves, pit geotechnical – MCB (Deswick Brazil)/GE21.
  • Crushing, processing plant and plant infrastructure – Primero Group Americas Ltd. (Primero).
  • Processing plant non-process infrastructure – Worley Parsons.
  • Metallurgical test work – SGS Lakefield Canada (SGS).
  • Tailings and mine waste storage design – 3S/DF Spain (3S/DF).
  • Financial modelling – Primero.
  • Market analysis – Roskill Consulting Group, UK (Roskill).

Mining & Mineral Reserves

Sigma commissioned MCB (Deswick Brazil) to complete the mine plan portion of the FS. The proposed mining operations include a conventional open-pit using hydraulic excavators and a fleet of haul trucks.  The FS considers contract mining. Two separate pits will be developed, and four waste piles, which will co-store waste rock from the open pits and Xuxa Plant residue will be constructed.

Key parameters used as part of the pit optimization process include (but are not limited to):

  • Mining costs derived from submissions received from mining contractors.
  • Processing costs provided by Primero.
  • Metallurgical recoveries provided by Primero.

Excavated material will be loaded to trucks and hauled to either the ROM pad or the waste piles.  Ore excavation and haulage will be monitored by quality-control personnel and details of material movement will be recorded by a radio dispatch system. Weathered material is considered to be free dig with transitional material to be lightly blasted to loosen it for digging. Fresh rock will be typically blasted on 6m benches for ore domain and 12m benches for waste domain. In order to reduce dilution and maximize mine recovery, controlled blasting (pre-splitting) will be used.

The engineered pit designs include the practical geometry that is required for an operational mine such as the haul road to access all the benches, recommended pit slopes with geotechnical berms, proper benching configuration and smoothed pit walls.

Table 3 summarizes the Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves for the Xuxa deposit.

Table 3. Xuxa Mine Open-Pit Mineral Reserve table:

Mineral Reserve ROM (Mt) LiO (%)
Proven 10.27 1.45
Probable 3.52 1.47
TOTAL 13.79 1.46

Notes:

  1. CIM (2014) definitions were followed for Mineral Reserves.
  2. Mineral Reserves have an effective date of 05 June 2019.  The Qualified Person for the estimate is Porfirio Cabaleiro Rodriguez, BSc. (MEng), MAIG, an employee of GE21.
  3. Mineral Reserves are confined within an optimized pit shell that uses the following parameters:  lithium concentrate price:  US$700/t concentrate; mining costs:  US$ 2.15/t mined; processing costs:  US$10.51/t processed; general and administrative costs: US$3.8 M/a; logistics costs:  US$82/t wet concentrate; process recovery of 60.4%; mining dilution of 9%; pit inter-ramp angles that range from 40.5 – 74.8º.
  4. Tonnages and grades have been rounded in accordance with reporting guidelines.  Totals may not sum due to rounding.
  5. Full Mineral Resource table for Xuxa included in Appendix 1.

Figure 1 shows the anticipated general site layout plan resulting from the FS.

Figure 1 is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2d23d23f-8b9c-41f5-a638-097c7e7068fe

 

Xuxa Plant and Facilities

A three-stage metallurgical test work program was completed by SGS Lakefield.

The Xuxa Plant will be located approximately 1.7 km and 2.3km from the north and south Xuxa mine open-pits, respectively.  The DMS plant will use proven and well-established technology, and is designed to produce 220,000 tonnes per annum of minimum 6.0% Li₂O concentrate with an iron content of below 1% Fe₂O₃. The lithium concentrate particle size is anticipated to be between +0.5mm to 9.5mm. Figure 2 shows the planned layout for the in-house crushing system and DMS plant.

Figure 2 is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c1cc4aca-97b5-4bb8-a4f3-648489af15e8

The plant throughput capacity is based on 1.5 Mtpa (dry) of ore fed to the crushing circuit. The current Xuxa Plant design also contemplates a modular and integrated expansion option, with the installation of an in-house crushing circuit to potentially increase processing capacity to 3.0 Mtpa.

The Xuxa Plant will include the following:

  • A three-stage conventional crushing and screening circuit.
  • DMS screening and mica removal via up-flow classification.
  • Two-stage DMS circuit for coarse fraction.
  • Two-stage DMS circuit for fines fraction with a magnetic separation step.
  • Single-stage DMS circuit for ultra-fines fraction.
  • Thickening, filtration (belt filter) and dry stacking of hypofines fraction with the waste.
  • Optical sorting and / or magnetic separation on the concentrate.
  • Tailings from the DMS plant trucked for co-disposal with the waste rock from the open pits.

The simplified process flow diagram for the proposed Xuxa Plant design is provided in Figure 3.

Figure 3 is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/3abd80b6-e0a7-4833-829b-17a755e8fe29

Financial Evaluation

The positive FS economics demonstrate that Xuxa is a financially positive standalone project. The key factors influencing the study outcome include the mine average high grade of 1.46% Li₂O and the low levels of impurities leading to high levels of process recoveries with a DMS plant. These in turn lead to low capital expenditures and low ongoing operating costs.

  1. Capital Expenditures Estimates

The initial FS capital cost estimate to construct a new 1.5 Mtpa plant and infrastructure, including all direct and indirect costs and 10% contingencies, is estimated at US$98.4 million (with an accuracy of +/- 15%). Costs are summarized in Table 4.

Table 4. Initial Capital Cost Estimate

Capex Item Initial Capex
(US$ M)
 

Description

Processing Plant $33.2 DMS, Ultrafines DMS, Tails and Concentrate Handing
Site Infrastructure $32.8 Earthworks, Infrastructure, Water & Sewage, Buildings
Owner’s Costs & Spares $5.1 Labor, Admin, Environmental Fees
Mining Pre-Production Cost $13.3 Pre-Stripping (Blasting, Drilling, Haulage, Loading)
Plant Pre-Production Costs $3.0 Mob/Demob, Process Plant Labor, Pre-Production Admin
Pre-Production Working Capital $11.0 Mining and Processing Costs from Commission to Cashflow
Initial Capital Cost $98.4 Funded via Creditors and Offtake Agreements

Note: Additional non financeable deferred capex and plant and mine closure costs are estimated at US$ 15.2 million to be disbursed by year 9, is detailed as follows: (i) Deferred capex of US$ 5.8 million includes Pit 2 Haul Roads, Balance Pile 1 Excavation, Bridge Between Pit 1 and Pit 2, Waste Piles 3 and 4 Excavation (Clear & Grub, Excavation, Ponds Cuts); (ii) Closure costs for plant and mine closure of US$ 8 million; (iii) Capex of US$ 1.5 million to execute various operational recommendations to be implemented in production.

  1. Operating Cost Estimates

Operating cost estimates are based on an owner-operated model and have an accuracy of +/- 15%. The operating cost for the mining was provided by MCB.  The crushing contracting, substation rental, mobile equipment rental and product transport operating costs were incorporated in the overall operating cost.

The cash operating costs were developed based on third party contract mining and outsourced crushing, as well as on the Xuxa Plant processing cost. The Xuxa Plant is forecasted to have very low operating costs at US$238 per tonne of concentrate as a result of its high grade, high DMS recoveries, low levels of impurities, low cost of electricity and general low country costs.

Table 5 shows the anticipated average operating costs over the LOM.  Table 6 presents the forecast revenue and costs on both a total and average LOM basis.

Table 5. Operating Cost Estimate

Cost Category LOM Average
US$ / t
Mining $149
Processing $75
Transportation (CIF China) $104
Selling, General and Administrative $13
Total Cash Cost (CIF China) $342

Table 6. Xuxa Estimated Revenue and Operating Costs for 1.5 Mtpa Production

Item Total
US$ M
LOM Avg.
US$ / t
Gross Revenue
Lithium Concentrate
$1,482 $733
Less: Realization Costs
Royalties
Mitsui Prepay Repayment (50,000t)
Freight & Insurance & Storage
Total Realization Costs
$52
$48
$211
$311
$26
$24
$104
$154
Net Sales Revenue Less Freight & Storage $1,171 $579
Less: Site Operating Costs
Mining
Processing
Selling, General & Administration
Total Site Operating Costs
$302
$152
$26
$480
$149
$75
$13
$238
Net Operating Margin
% Net Operating Margin of Net Sales
$691
59%
$341
59%


Sensitivity Analysis

The FS includes sensitivity analysis of Project NPV 8% using variable CIF China price, recovery rate, ore grade, exchange rate, initial capex, discount rate, operating expenses.

Table 7 shows the impact of a +/- 20% variation of these key factors. Table 8 presents the after-tax NPV results of each factor variance.

Table 7. After-Tax Net Present Value Sensitivity Assumptions for Each Scenario +20% and -20%

Input Assumption Unit -20% -10% Base +10% +20%
CIF Spodumene Price LOM Avg [US$ / t] 586 660 733 806 879
   CIF Spodumene Price 2021 [US$ / t] 520 585 650 715 780
Recovery Rate [%] 48% 54% 60% 66% 73%
Total Opex [US$ M] (532) (599) (665) (732) (798)
Discount Rate [%] 6.4% 7.2% 8.0% 8.8% 9.6%
Total Capex [US$ M] (91) (102) (114) (125) (136)
Ore Grade [%] 1.17% 1.31% 1.46% 1.60% 1.75%
Exchange Rate BRL / US$ [BRL/US$] 3.28 3.69 4.10 4.51 4.92

Note: A conservative two-tier exchange rate was used as a base to the feasibility study. BRL 3.85 / USD 1.00 for quotes provided from third party information providers and BRL 4.10 / USD 1.00 for the amounts provided in dollars from Sigma.

Table 8. After-Tax Net Present Value Results for Each Scenario

After Tax NPV (US$ M) Unit -20% -10% Base +10% +20%
CIF Spodumene Price LOM Avg [US$ M] 102 175 249 322 395
Recovery Rate [US$ M] 123 186 249 311 374
Total Opex [US$ M] 335 292 249 205 161
Discount Rate [US$ M] 283 265 249 233 218
Total Capex [US$ M] 266 257 249 240 231
Ore Grade [US$ M] 233 241 249 256 264
Exchange Rate BRL / US$ [US$ M] 235 243 249 253 257

Note: All NPVs calculated using all-in Initial, Sustaining and Deferred Capex of US$ 113.6 M, which adds to initial capex the non-financeable deferred capex of US$ 15.2 million.

The positive economics of the economic feasibility of the Project is further demonstrated in Table 9 by the IRR yield of the combined sensitivity analysis of the after-tax NPV to both 6% lithium spodumene concentrate CIF China prices and discount rate.

Table 9. Combined Sensitivity of Xuxa NPV to Prices and Discount Rate

After-Tax NPV
(US$ M)
Spodumene Price CIF
US$ / t
586 660 733 806 879
Discount
Rate
6.4% 123 203 283 363 444
7.2% 112 188 265 342 419
8.0% 102 175 249 322 395
8.8% 93 163 233 303 374
9.6% 84 151 218 286 353
   
After-Tax IRR 22.9% 33.2% 43.2% 52.9% 62.7%

NOTE: All NPVs Calculated using all-in Initial, Sustaining and Deferred Capex of US$ 113.6 M, which adds to initial Capex the non-financeable deferred capex of US$15.2 million.

Commercial and Marketing Strategy and Offtake Agreements

As a result of the high quality and low impurities of its planned lithium concentrate Sigma has experienced significant commercial success in negotiating offtake agreements with various customers in the electric vehicle supply chain.

Sigma entered the offtake negotiations undertaking a long-term view for the growth of the market and decided to replicate the longer term (five years) contract structures practiced by the lithium chemicals with their cathode industry and other customers in the supply chain. Sigma negotiated offtake agreements with fixed volumes with a multi-year duration, without a price floor, using CIF China market prices as an annual pricing mechanism. By not requesting a price floor, Sigma managed to preserve potential price upside in its offtake agreements, as these agreements do not include a price cap, fixed prices or prices pegged to cost structures of customers in the lithium chemical industry. The offtakes are indexed to Roskill’s published “arm’s length market price CIF China” for spodumene concentrate.

Sigma secured non-binding MOUs to supply 100% of its projected production of 220,000 tpa from Xuxa Plant for a five-year period, commencing in 2021.

Sigma has entered into a binding heads of agreement (the Agreement) for an offtake, funding and strategic partnership with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. of Japan (Mitsui) for a significant portion of the funding required for the capital expenditures and construction of the Xuxa Mine.

Pursuant to the Agreement, Mitsui and Sigma have agreed terms on:

  • Production pre-payment to Sigma of US$30,000,000 for battery-grade lithium concentrate supply of up to 55,000 tonnes annually over six years, extendable for five years.
  • Offtake rights of a supplementary 25,000 tonnes of products over a period of six years, extendable for five years.
  • Advancement of deposit for long-lead items in support of meeting Sigma’s Project construction schedule.
  • Strategic collaboration to leverage Mitsui’s considerable global logistics and battery materials marketing expertise as well as an agreement to continue discussions regarding additional funding for further exploration and development of Sigma’s vast mineral properties.
  • Mitsui’s right to participate in Sigma’s future capital expenditure financings and offtake rights for production expansion with other deposits conditional to concluding a feasibility study and Mineral Reserve estimates.
  • Selling price is based on quarterly published arms-length price for chemical spodumene concentrate.

Sigma is currently in negotiations with the other potential off-take customers to sign binding heads of agreement for the 160,000 tpa balance of its annual production.

Lithium Price Forecast and Lithium Chemical Supply Dynamics

Sigma contracted Roskill to provide an outlook and overview of the lithium market.

  1. Forecast Prices in Feasibility Study

Roskill provided price forecasts through to 2032 for spodumene concentrate prices for the three categories of 6% spodumene lithium concentrate pricing structures, as described below. This distinction is critical, as the world’s largest spodumene concentrate producer Talison Lithium in Australia practices inter-company pricing (as that company is 51% owned by Tianqui and 49% owned by Albermarle). The three-tier pricing forecast published by Roskill is based on the tracking of following shipments:

  • Inter-company priced: Talison Lithium to Tianqi Lithium and Albemarle; and, NA Lithium to CATL.
  • Related-party priced: Reed Industrial Minerals to Ganfeng Lithium; Pilbara Minerals to Ganfeng Lithium and General Lithium; and, Altura Mining to Optimum Nano and Lionergy.
  • Arms-length priced: Galaxy Lithium to Blossom Lithium, Shandong Ruifu and General Lithium; AMG to General Lithium; and, Altura to Burwill Holdings.

Prices for all contracts peaked in 2018, within a range of US$560-1,050 / tonne reflecting Talison to Tianqi/Albemarle inter-company shipments at the lower end and Galaxy to third party customers at arm’s length at the high end.

Related-party contracts fell in the middle of these two end-members and remain the benchmark average to 2032.  Related-party contracts are expected to fall to US$600/t by 2021 before steadily increasing into the late-2020s.

Arms-length sales are expected to show a premium to related-party sales of around US$100/t, with inter-company contracts at a US$100/t discount.  However, if lithium carbonate and hydroxide prices increase at a greater rate going forward, the chemical-grade spodumene price could increase towards the high case scenario, and vice versa.

Spodumene concentrate pricing inputs for the FS as provided by Roskill in August 2019 are illustrated in Figure 4.

Figure 4 is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2c3a1bf3-aef7-447f-bc62-211cb5db49ea

  1. Key Market Trends Driving Dynamics of Spodumene Lithium Concentrate Supply to Lithium Chemical Industry:

Demand for lithium rose by 20% in 2018 to reach over 261,100t LCE. The rechargeable battery market, led by the automotive sector increased its consumption of lithium by 30,000t LCE in 2018, representing 93% of the overall increase in lithium consumption.

The short-, medium- and long-term lithium demand outlook appear strong. Consumption of lithium will continue to be driven by the rechargeable battery sector, which is forecast to register 19.9%pa growth through to 2033, reaching around 1.8Mt LCE in Roskill’s base-case scenario. The automotive and energy storage system applications are expected to underpin both battery and overall lithium consumption growth

As a result of the electric vehicle battery demand becoming the main growth driver for lithium chemical demand, the dominance of brine operations in global lithium production has been gradually falling.

As the electric vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) demand more energy efficient batteries with increased range, the cathode industry increasingly migrates to using lithium hydroxide as the preferred chemical raw material, instead of lithium carbonate. Lithium carbonate is the main product produced and consumed in the lithium market, although lithium hydroxide use is growing at a faster rate.  Battery-grade lithium carbonate accounted for around 70% of carbonate use in 2018.

Feedback from our potential customers indicate that the conversion of 6% battery grade spodumene concentrate to lithium hydroxide is the most efficient method of producing it. Moreover, spodumene concentrate with low impurities is less expensive to process (‘clean’) into hydroxide chemicals, increasing operational efficiencies at the chemical producer, thus becoming a competitive advantage.

Battery grade lithium carbonate produced from brine must be converted into lithium hydroxide for use in the cathode industry. Feedback from our potential customers indicate that such conversion has a similar cost to converting to lithium hydroxide the 6% lithium concentrate produced from hard rock ore. Therefore, brine producers of lithium carbonate have been increasingly stripped of a relative competitive advantage over hard rock producers of lithium.

Sigma’s commercial success competing against brines can be examined in the current bear market and current downturn in lithium prices. The lowest “arm’s length’ selling price for competing lithium carbonate raw material from brines to be used by a lithium hydroxide plant is assumed to be the technical grade carbonate from domestic Chinese market, currently priced at $5500/tonne to $6000/ tonne. In order to be competitive with these prices, a hard rock producer needs to have the ability to profitably supply 6% spodumene lithium concentrate at a maximum range of $680 – $750 / tonne, the equivalent of $6000 / 8 (it takes 8 parts of spodumene concentrate to produce one part of hydroxide chemical). These price levels are compatible with Sigma’s cost curve and profitability as demonstrated in the FS.

Figure 5 shows the lithium consumption actuals and forecasts for the period 2014 to 2033.

Figure 5 is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/0fc66b65-38e9-44b6-8c48-abd7b8478532

 

Environmental Licenses

In compliance with CONAMA Resolution 09/90, the environmental licensing of mining projects is always subject to the following study progression. The first stage is an Environmental Impact Study (EIS), which is followed by an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which supports the technical and environmental feasibility stage of the project and the granting of a Preliminary License (Licença Previa or LP) and/or a concurrent Preliminary Licence with an Installation License (Licença de Instalação or LI), collectively referred to as the (LP+LI).

The licensing process in Minas Gerais was developed in accordance with COPAM Regulatory Deliberation N° 217, dated December 6, 2017, which sets out the criteria that must be addressed based on the size of a planned mine, and its likelihood of generating environmental damage. Sigma has successfully obtained an environmental license for open-pit mining activities in respect of metallic minerals except iron ore, with the following parameters:

  • A gross production of 240,000 tpa.
  • 40 ha for tailings/waste piles.
  • Dry and wet mineral processing plants with a capacity of 1.5 Mtpa.

A water usage license for the project of 150 m3 per hour has already been granted.

Recommendations and Execution

The next phase is for Sigma to commence the detailed engineering work. The first phase of the detailed engineering will take 4 months after which plant construction can commence. Construction is planned for March 2020 and a 12 to 14-month program is envisaged to build the facility and to commission.

About Sigma Lithium Corp.

Sigma Lithium Corporation is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its principal lithium deposits at its Grota do Cirilo Project in Brazil. Sigma commissioned its pilot plant and has commenced the production of battery-grade spodumene concentrate from its high-quality deposits. Sigma’s corporate mission is to execute its strategy while embracing environmental, social, safety and governance principles. The company is on track to become an ultra-high-quality lithium concentrate supplier to the electrical vehicle and energy storage battery industry worldwide.

Sigma shareholders include some of the largest ESG- (environmental, sustainability, governance) focused institutional investors in the world. Sigma plans to start construction of a commercial-scale lithium concentration plant in 2020, becoming a fully operational sustainable lithium producer in 2021. Sigma, through its subsidiaries, has 27 mineral rights in four properties spread over 191 km2 which includes nine historical lithium mines. The Grota do Cirilo property, Sigma’s primary focus, includes 10 mining concessions (mining production authorizations).

Sigma has a NI 43-101 technical report on the Grota do Cirilo property prepared by SGS, which includes estimated Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource of approximately 46 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.42% Li2O. The technical report also includes estimated Inferred Resources of 6.64 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.46% Li2O and further notes the potential for significant resource expansion.

Qualified Persons

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.

The technical and scientific information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Ara Erzingatzian, P.Eng, of Primero Group Americas Inc. Mr. Erzingatzian is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and is independent of Sigma.

The technical and scientific information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Porfirio Cabaleiro Rodriguez, Mining Engineer of GE21 Consultoria Mineral Brazil.  Mr. Rodriguez is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and is independent of Sigma.

The FS source document for the information presented in this press release has been reviewed and approved by the following Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and who are independent of Sigma:

  • Frederic Claridge, M.S., P.Eng., Senior Technical Director, Advisian Americas, a division of WorleyParsons Canada Services Ltd.
  • Lucas Duerte, P.Eng., MSc, PMP.
  • Kiedock Kim, P.Eng.  Lead Process Engineer, Primero Group Americas Inc.

For Additional Information Please Contact:

Betty LeBlanc
Director of Corporate Communications
Tel: + 1 604 828-0999
betty.leblanc@sigmaca.com

Ana Cabral
Chief Strategy Officer
Tel: + 55 11 2985-0089
ana.cabral@sigmaca.com

Sigma Lithium Resources Corporation
www.sigmalithiumresources.com

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to the objectives of the Corporation, the potential for increased resources, concentration plant construction, 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, and investor interest in the business and future prospects of Sigma. Forward statements include but not limited to lithium prices, lithium demand and supply, costs and exchange rates.

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” section of Sigma’s Filing Statement dated April 25, 2018. 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.
Appendix 1

Appendix Table 1. Mineral Resource Table for Xuxa

Appendix Table – Xuxa Deposit Mineral Resource Estimate

CUT-OFF GRADE
LI2O (%)
CATEGORY TONNAGE
(t)
AVERAGE GRADE
LI2O (%)
0.5 Measured 10,193,000 1.59
0.5 Indicated 7,221,000 1.49
0.5 Measured + Indicated 17,414,000 1.55
0.5 Inferred 3,802,000 1.58

Notes:

  1. Mineral Resources have an effective date of January 10, 2019 and have been classified using the 2014 CIM Definition Standards.  The Qualified Person for the estimate is Mr. Marc-Antoine Laporte, P.Geo., an SGS employee.
  2. Mineral Resources are reported assuming open pit mining methods, and the following assumptions:  lithium concentrate (6% Li2O) price of US$1,000/t, mining costs of US$2/t for mineralization and waste, US$1.2/t for overburden, crushing and processing costs of US$12/t, general and administrative (G&A) costs of US$4/t, concentrate recovery of 85%, 2% royalty payment, pit slope angles of 55º, and an overall cut-off grade of 0.5% Li2O.
  3. Tonnages and grades have been rounded in accordance with reporting guidelines.  Totals may not sum due to rounding.
  4. Mineral Resources are reported inclusive of those Mineral Resources converted to Mineral Reserves.  Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
  5. Long-term Li2O price of $1,000/tonne assumes processing cost of US$12 and metallurgical recovery of 85%.

Appendix Table 2. Mineral Resource Table for Barreiro

Appendix Table 2 – Barreiro Deposit Mineral Resource Estimate

CUT-OFF GRADE
LI2O (%)
CATEGORY TONNAGE
(t)
AVERAGE GRADE
LI2O (%)
0.5 Measured 10,313,000 1.40
0.5 Indicated 10,172,000 1.46
0.5 Measured + Indicated 20,485,000 1.43
0.5 Inferred 1,909,000 1.44

Notes:

  1. Mineral Resources have an effective date of January 10, 2019 and have been classified using the 2014 CIM Definition Standards.  The Qualified Person for the estimate is Mr Marc-Antoine Laporte, P.Geo., an SGS employee.
  2. Mineral Resources are reported assuming open pit mining methods, and the following assumptions:  lithium concentrate (6% Li2O) price of US$1,000/t, mining costs of US$2/t for mineralization and waste, US$1.2/t for overburden, crushing and processing costs of US$12/t, general and administrative (G&A) costs of US$4/t, concentrate recovery of 85%, 2% royalty payment, pit slope angles of 55º, and an overall cut-off grade of 0.5% Li2O.
  3. Tonnages and grades have been rounded in accordance with reporting guidelines.  Totals may not sum due to rounding.
  4. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
  5. Long-term Li2O price of $1,000/tonne assumes processing cost of US$12 and metallurgical recovery of 85%.

GMAT™ Official Advanced Questions Now Available

Hard questions taken directly from past GMAT exams, expanding candidate test day preparation options

RESTON, Va., Oct. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Graduate Management Admission Council™ (GMAC™), administrator of the Graduate Management Admission Test™ (GMAT™) and a global association of leading graduate business schools, announced today the release of its GMAT™ Official Advanced Questions, the only test preparation material to exclusively contain hard questions from past GMAT exams. The product rounds out the GMAT™ Official Prep portfolio, offering candidates an option to challenge themselves after completing the mix of easy, medium and hard questions in the GMAT™ Official Guide.

“Gaining confidence to solve the hardest questions on the GMAT can help increase a candidate’s performance and confidence on test day,” said Pam Brown, Director of Product Management at GMAC.  “We want to help test takers be at their best and saw a need in the market to provide a tool that further challenges them after working through GMAT’s Official Guide questions,” Brown continued. “By studying with Advanced Questions, candidates can feel empowered on test day while also increasing their chances to stand out in front of target schools.”

Consisting of 150 Quantitative Reasoning and 150 Verbal Reasoning questions, GMATTM Official Advanced Questions gives candidates more materials to extend their preparation and challenge themselves further.  Subject matter experts, each with decades of experience writing and editing GMAT questions, developed the comprehensive answer explanations. Questions are grouped by “fundamental skills” areas, allowing candidates to align their study plan with GMAT’s Enhanced Score Report structure.

Like the GMAT Official Guide series, GMAT Official Advanced Questions is available for purchase in print or as an e-book through GMAC’s partner, Wiley Efficient Learning. Both versions include access to an Online Question Bank to create custom practice sets, focus on specific fundamental skills and measure improvements.

The GMAT Official Advanced Questions Global edition is priced at USD$29.99.

About GMAC

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is an association of leading graduate business schools worldwide. Founded in 1953, we are committed to creating solutions for business schools and candidates to better discover, evaluate and connect with each other. We work on behalf of the schools and the graduate management education community, as well as guide candidates on their journey to higher education, to ensure that no talent goes undiscovered.

GMAC provides world-class research, professional development opportunities and assessments for the industry, designed to advance the art and science of admissions. Owned and administered by GMAC, the Graduate Management Admission Test™ (GMAT™) exam is the most widely used graduate business school assessment, recognized by more than 7,000 programs worldwide.

Our flagship portal for graduate management education resources and information, www.mba.com, receives 6 million visits a year and features the School Search matching tool and GMASS™ search service, matching candidates and business schools.

GMAC is a global organization with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, China; Gurugram, India; Singapore London, United Kingdom; and the United States. To learn more about our work, please visit www.gmac.com.

Media contact:
Geoffrey Basye, Director of Media Relations, GMAC
+1 (703) 668-9799 or gbasye@gmac.com

Ctrip Chairman Meets with Philippine Secretary of Tourism

Philippines Tourism to Receive Boost from Ctrip

Ctrip Chairman Meets with Philippine Secretary of Tourism

Ctrip Chairman James Liang (left) meets with Philippines Secretary of Tourism Romulo-Puyat (right)

MANILA, Oct. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ctrip Co-founder and Executive Chairman James Liang today met with Philippines Secretary of Tourism Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. The pair discussed areas for collaboration ranging from destination marketing to strategies for improving customer service and safety for travelers to the Philippines and the wider South-East Asia region.

The Philippines is an archipelagic state made up of over 7000 islands. Known for its world-famous sunsets and beaches, the country is already a favorite destination among tourists from across the globe, having hosted a record 7.1 million tourists in 2018 according to the Department of Tourism. Tourism is also a core industry for the country, accounting for 12.7% of GDP in 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The Department of Tourism has its sights on sustained growth, with a target of 8.2 million arrivals this year. Chinese tourists are a significant driving force, said Ms. Romulo-Puyat. “In the first half of 2019, we hosted a record number of over 700,000 Chinese tourists,” said Ms. Romulo-Puyat. “Ctrip is an invaluable partner in helping us to increase exposure in this key market.”

During the meeting, Ctrip Chairman James Liang outlined the country’s potential as a destination for tourists, as well as its significance as a base for the company’s customer service operations in the region. “The Philippines is a promising destination for both outbound Chinese tourists and for our customers globally,” said Liang.

As the largest OTA in Asia with a userbase of over 300 million, Ctrip’s partnership promises to increase exposure for the Philippines as a holiday destination for outbound Chinese tourists. In addition to destination marketing, Liang emphasized the importance of helping the local market to cater better to the needs of tourists.

“Improvements in customer service, traveler safety and emergency response are certain to give a boost to Philippines as a destination for tourists worldwide, and Ctrip is glad to assist in these areas. We look forward to working more closely with the Philippines to provide a superior level of service to travelers, and sharing in this unique nation’s prosperity,” said Liang.

As Ctrip expands its global presence, Liang said, the company’s efforts in the Philippines are an indication of its upcoming plans for the region. “The South-East Asia market will be a focus point of ours moving forward, and as an increasingly popular regional tourist hub, we are excited to the have the support of the Philippines.”

About Ctrip.com International, Ltd.
Ctrip.com International, Ltd. is a leading travel service provider of accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours and corporate travel management in China. It is the largest online consolidator of accommodations and transportation tickets in China in terms of transaction volume. Ctrip enables business and leisure travelers to make informed and cost-effective bookings by aggregating comprehensive travel related information and offering its services through an advanced transaction and service platform consisting of its mobile apps, Internet websites and centralized, toll-free, 24-hour customer service center. Ctrip also helps customers book vacation packages and guided tours. In addition, through its corporate travel management services, Ctrip helps corporate clients effectively manage their travel requirements. Since its inception in 1999, Ctrip has experienced substantial growth and become one of the best-known travel brands in China.

For further information, please contact:
International PR
Ctrip.com International, ltd.
Tel: (+86) 21 3406 4880 ext 196455
Email: Pr@ctrip.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/1cac8a25-20a9-42e8-8ac6-789307f00aed

Third-party evaluation confirms safety profile of Philips Stellarex .035″ low-dose drug-coated balloon

October 1, 2019 

  • Primary safety analysis of Stellarex drug-coated balloon (DCB) three-year data, comprising the largest published, pooled set of randomized controlled trial (RCT) data for a single paclitaxel-based device, shows no difference in mortality between patients treated with the Philips Stellarex DCB and those treated with percutaneous angioplasty, the current standard of care
  • Findings also identified no device-related deaths and no correlation of Stellarex DCB to late all-cause mortality
  • The analyses represent one of industry’s most extensive and rigorous safety assessments of a paclitaxel-based device, and were published in Circulation, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association

Amsterdam, the Netherlands Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced the results of third-party analyses of patient-level data from worldwide clinical trials of the Philips Stellarex .035″ low-dose DCB. The analyses, which were performed by US-based contract research organization Syntactx, were published today in Circulation, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association.

The safety analyses applied validated statistical tests commonly accepted for large-scale meta-analyses. The primary analysis examined the three-year patient-level data from the ILLUMENATE Pivotal trial and the ILLUMENATE European Randomized Controlled Trial (EU RCT), which together included a total of 589 patients. 419 were treated with Stellarex DCB to restore and maintain blood flow to arteries in the legs (above the knee), and 170 patients were treated with an uncoated percutaneous angioplasty (PTA) balloon, the current standard of care. Only 2.3% of patients in the Pivotal study and 3.7% of patients in the EU RCT were lost to follow-up within the respective three-year follow-up windows. The additional analysis comprised the two Stellarex DCB RCTs in addition to the four Stellarex DCB single-arm studies in the meta-analysis, including 2,495 patients with peripheral artery disease, of which 2,325 were treated with Stellarex DCB to restore and maintain blood flow to arteries in the legs (above the knee).

The primary safety analysis demonstrated that there is no difference in mortality between patients treated with Stellarex DCB and uncoated PTA through three years. It also identified no device-related deaths and no correlation of Stellarex DCB to late all-cause mortality. These findings were confirmed and reinforced by the additional analysis.

“This manuscript further substantiates the results presented earlier this year at the 2019 Leipzig Interventional Course (LINC) in Leipzig, Germany,” said Sean Lyden, MD and Chairman of the Department of Vascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic (U.S.), co-Primary Investigator for the ILLUMENATE Pivotal trial, and senior author of the safety manuscript. “The systematic analysis included a robust statistical method to ensure we could pool the individual patient data from the trials in order to enhance the accuracy of the results.”

“After a careful, detailed and appropriately directed analysis of the controlled data available from the Stellarex suite of studies, we have a robust assessment of the patient-level outcomes related to the Stellarex drug-coated balloon,” said William Gray, MD, FACC, FSCAI, President of the Lankenau Heart Institute, and lead author of the safety manuscript. “We are confident in the finding of no difference in mortality rates between patients treated with Stellarex and those treated with PTA.”

As the study sponsor, Philips was involved in study design and data collection, but was not involved in the analysis or interpretation of data. Sean Lyden and William Gray have consulting relationships with Philips, but have not received financial compensation from Philips in connection with their role in this analysis.

“The results of this study, combined with the recently presented three-year efficacy data, confirm our confidence in the safety and performance of our unique Stellarex low-dose drug-coated balloon,” said Chris Landon, general manager Image Guided Therapy Devices at Philips. “We are committed to providing healthcare providers with accurate and transparent data in order to help them make an informed decision on the optimal treatment for patients with peripheral arterial disease. We believe Stellarex, with its low drug dose and unique drug coating composition, is a logical choice for those who need this option.”

Featuring Philips EnduraCoat technology, a unique coating consisting of a polyethylene glycol excipient with amorphous and crystalline paclitaxel particles dispersed in it, Stellarex .035″ DCB is unlike any other drug-coated balloon for the treatment of peripheral artery disease. EnduraCoat technology provides efficient drug transfer and effective drug residency coupled with high coating durability and minimal particulate loss, thereby enabling a low therapeutic drug dose.

Stellarex is the only low-dose DCB to demonstrate a significant treatment effect and high safety profile through three years. The ILLUMENATE Pivotal trial showed durable primary patency (maintained blood flow) in the most complex patient pool ever studied in a DCB randomized clinical trial.

For further information, please contact:

Mark Groves
Philips Global Press Office
Tel.: +31 631 639 916
E-mail: mark.groves@philips.com

Fabienne van der Feer
Philips Image Guided Therapy
Tel: + 31 622 698 001
E-mail : fabienne.van.der.feer@philips.com

About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2018 sales of EUR 18.1 billion and employs approximately 78,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.

Attachment