SOURCE: Li3 Energy, Inc.

Li3 Energy, Inc.

March 12, 2010 03:01 ET

Li3 Energy Closes Acquisition of Next Lithium Assets at Big Smoky Valley, Nevada

LIMA, PERU--(Marketwire - March 12, 2010) -  Li3 Energy, Inc. (OTCBB: LIEG) ("Li3 Energy" or the "Company") is pleased to announce it has closed its previously announced agreement to acquire the assets of Next Lithium Corp. ("Next Lithium").

With the closing of the agreement, the Company has acquired a 100% interest in 170,000 acres of a strategically located property prospective for lithium brine, 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 pleased that the acquisition closed as planned and to the mutual satisfaction of all concerned. We are increasingly excited by the heightened prospects before us with this new acquisition. We now control the largest potential lithium brine land position near to the Silver Peak Mine and are confident this asset will prove to have significant value. We have begun the requisite permitting process working with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and local authorities so as to commence our planned exploration program. The opportunity to develop a new major lithium resource within the United States comes during a period of highly favorable conditions in light of the recent significance the government has placed on the domestic production of lithium."

Li3's aggressive exploration program is planned to 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 end of 2010.

Li3 Energy believes the completion of this acquisition, together with the company's ongoing acquisition efforts in Peru, Argentina, and Chile, will position Li3 Energy as one of the largest holders of prospective lithium acreages in the world.

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 www.li3energy.com.

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," "prospective," "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 www.sec.gov

Per: Luis Saenz, CEO

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