SOURCE: Li3 Energy, Inc.

Li3 Energy, Inc.

March 11, 2013 09:00 ET

Li3 Achieves Initial Environmental Approval

Paves the Way to Further Advance Maricunga Project

SANTIAGO, CHILE--(Marketwire - Mar 11, 2013) - Li3 Energy, Inc., (OTCBB: LIEG) ("Li3", "Li3 Energy" or the "Company"), a US-listed and South America based global exploration company in the lithium and minerals sector, is pleased to announce that it has achieved the approval of the DIA (Environmental Impact Declaration) from the SEA (Chilean Environmental Authority). This is the first step necessary to complete the Environmental Impact Study on its Flagship Maricunga Project.

The DIA approval paves the way for the Company to initiate the necessary work to prepare a Feasibility Study which includes pump tests of the wells in the Company's properties and the hydrogeological monitoring of the Maricunga Basin. Li3 expects to begin this phase of the program in the 2nd quarter of 2013. Despite the current situation with the lithium permitting process in Chile, the approval of our DIA coupled with the fact that the Company has the most advanced lithium project in Maricunga, strengthens Li3's plans to explore the synergies of "grandfathered" lithium properties in the area. On a parallel path, the DIA approval also allows Li3 to explore a potassium-only project should the current situation (lithium exploitation permitting) prevail. While the Company offers no assurances on the outcome of any of our initiatives, or its ability to obtain the necessary financing to fund them, Li3 is committed to pursuing a project in Maricunga and this accomplishment demonstrates our continued desire to unlock its potential.

Luis Saenz, CEO of Li3, stated: "The approval of our DIA was achieved in four months and is further testament to the work completed by the Li3 team and their interaction with the appropriate regional authorities. This is a stellar example of how a company works with government authorities and takes the time to present a well thought out and comprehensive plan that overcomes any concerns of the government authority on the evaluation that needs to happen. I want to thank everyone involved in helping Li3 achieve this milestone."

About Li3 Energy, Inc.

Li3 Energy, Inc. is an exploration stage public company in the lithium mining and energy sector. Li3 aims to acquire, develop and commercialize a significant portfolio of lithium brine deposits in the Americas. With its controlling interest in its Maricunga Project, coupled with the completion of the NI 43-101 Compliant Measured Resource Report, Li3's goals are to: a) advance Maricunga to the Feasibility Stage; b) support the global implementation of clean and green energy initiatives; c) meet growing lithium market demand; and d) become a mid-tier, low cost supplier of lithium, potassium nitrate, iodine and other strategic minerals, serving global clients in the energy, fertilizer and specialty chemical industries. Additional information regarding the Company can be found in our recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") as well as the information maintained on our website

Forward-Looking Statements

Any statements contained herein which are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements identified by or containing words like "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "estimates," "projects," "potential," "target," "goal," "plans," "objective," "should", or similar expressions. The Company gives no assurances the assumptions upon which such forward-looking statements are based will prove correct. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and are based on information currently available to us. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed herein due to many factors, including, without limitation: validation of the POSCO technology; obtaining and the issuance of necessary government consents; confirmation of initial exploration results; the Company's ability to raise additional capital for exploration; development and commercialization of the Company's projects; future findings and economic assessment reports; the Company's ability to identify appropriate corporate acquisition or joint venture opportunities in the lithium mining sector and to establish appropriate technical and managerial infrastructure; political stability in countries in which we operate; and lithium prices. For further information about risks faced by the Company, and its Maricunga Project, see the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's POS AM S-1, filed with the SEC on March 1st, 2013. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect events or circumstances which arise after the date of this release. 

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