SOURCE: Li3 Energy, Inc.

Li3 Energy, Inc.

February 17, 2010 09:15 ET

Li3 Energy Executes Final Agreement to Acquire Next Lithium Assets in Big Smoky Valley, Nevada

LIMA, PERU--(Marketwire - February 17, 2010) -   Li3 Energy, Inc. (OTCBB: LIEG), ("Li3 Energy" or the "Company") is pleased to announce it has executed a definitive purchase agreement to acquire the assets of Next Lithium Corp. ("Next Lithium").

The Company will acquire options on a 100% interest in up-to 170,000 acres of a strategically located lithium brine mineral property located in Big Smoky Valley near Tonopah, Nevada. The Property shares similar geology to Clayton Valley, which lies a few miles south and contains Rockwood Holdings' Silver Peak Mine, one of the world's leading producers of lithium hydroxide, and currently the only producing lithium mine in the United States of America.

During the 1970's and 80's and following the start of production at the Silver Peak Mine, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), carried out a series of regional reconnaissance programs, including sampling and drilling in Big Smoky Valley. As part of the USGS drill program, one hole was drilled on the Property and a second hole was drilled a short distance west of the Property. Both holes intersected geochemically anomalous concentrations of lithium in the brines, with grades up to 365 ppm. Gravity surveys over the region also confirmed the existence of various structures that may have created topography favorable for evaporite accumulation and subsequent traps, which potentially could host commercially viable mineral rich brines.

Mr. Luis Saenz, President and CEO of Li3 Energy, stated, "We are extremely excited about this project, which represents the largest lithium brine land position near to the Silver Peak Mine. We anticipate very shortly the commencement of our aggressive exploration program, which underscores Li3's commitment to discovering a major lithium resource within the United States, particularly in light of the recent significance the U.S. government has placed on the domestic production of lithium."

Li3's exploration program will include surface sampling, regional and detailed seismic surveys, diamond drilling and pumping tests. The cost of the program has been estimated to be $1.5 million and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2010.

Closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions to closing, which is expected to occur shortly.

About Li3 Energy, Inc. (OTCBB: LIEG)
Li3 Energy, Inc. is an early stage, U.S. public company currently pursuing a business strategy in the lithium brine mining and energy sector in the Americas, with an initial focus on identifying and acquiring opportunities in Peru, Argentina, Chile and the United States. Li3 Energy aims to acquire a significant portfolio of lithium brine deposits in the Americas for the purpose of development and production in order to meet growing market demand and to support the clean energy and green energy initiatives being implemented globally. For more information, visit:

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. Words such as "expects," "intends," "plans," "proposes," "hopes," "may," "could," "should," "anticipates," "likely," "believes" and words of similar import also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on current facts and analyses and other information and assumptions of management. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors beyond the reasonable control of Li3 Energy, including, but not limited to, Li3 Energy 's ability to identify appropriate corporate acquisition and/or joint venture opportunities in the lithium mining sector and to establish the technical and managerial infrastructure, and to raise the required capital, to take advantage of, and successfully participate in such opportunities; future economic condition; political stability; and lithium prices. Additional information on risks and other factors that may affect the business and financial results of Li3 Energy can be found in Li3 Energy's annual, quarterly and current reports and other documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at

Luis Saenz, CEO

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