SOURCE: AXcess News

AXcess News

February 22, 2010 10:30 ET

AXcess News: Lithium Miner Hits New 52-Week Hi on Chile Prospect

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 22, 2010) - Pan American Lithium Corp. (TSX-V: PL)(PINKSHEETS: PALTF) reached a new 52-week hi of $0.78 Friday after saying its survey was underway in Chile at its Laguna Verde project. The company indicated that it expected to release those results during the first quarter.

The Byron Capital Markets Lithium Index had closed up 0.03 at 1.19 Friday, whose direction supports the market's thirst for lithium stocks in general and though Pan American Lithium is not part of the Index currently, investors have been eyeing the company ever since it announced a deal with Korean-based POSCO, the world's 4th-largest steel maker, which signed a letter of understanding in January to invest in Pan American's Mexico lithium brine project pending the outcome of its due diligence on the project. The deal was extended until April to give PKX time to complete its feasibility.

Investor interest has grown steadily in lithium mining ever since the election of Sebastian Pinera in Chile. In a January 28th story, AXcess News noted that the mineral-rich South American nation is seen as being more proactive towards foreign mining concerns -- especially smaller companies -- since Pinera's presidential upset.

Pan American Lithium's Cierro Prieto project in Mexico requires an outlay of millions to acquire control, though its option places the lithium miner in a strategic position. Yet in Chile, PL's Laguna Verde project is 100%-owned, making its value a potentially higher return for investors. Chile is also home to the largest lithium producer in the world, SQM, which according Byron Capital Market's Jon Hykawy PhD. MBA produces between 35 to 37% of global demand.

Hykawy is the author of a report on Lithium which was issued in September 2009. In a telephone interview Monday, Dr. Hykawy said, "Brines are always the cheapest way to go" in producing lithium compared to clay-based production.

In the investment bank's report on Lithium, Dr. Hykawy notes that "Lithium has arisen from nothing to represent the great hope for electrification of the light vehicle fleet. And this is not an unsubstantiated hope."

Dr. Hykawy told AXcess News that lithium is considered a "vital metal," yet there is no exchange-traded market. "That could change in time, "Hykawy admitted.

Dr. Hykawy said the investment bank would be updating its Report in mid-April, about the same time as Pan American Lithium is set to release its Laguna Verde brine survey results.

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