SOURCE: Li3 Energy, Inc.

Li3 Energy, Inc.

March 23, 2010 03:01 ET

Li3 Energy Executes Final Agreement to Acquire Puna Lithium Assets in Argentina

LIMA, PERU--(Marketwire - March 23, 2010) -  Li3 Energy, Inc. (OTCBB: LIEG), ("Li3 Energy" or the "Company") is pleased to announce it has executed definitive purchase agreements to acquire the rights of Puna Lithium Corporation ("Puna") over certain Argentinean assets. The rights include (i) three options to acquire from Lacus Minerals S.A. ("Lacus") (an Argentinean corporation, and the current owner of the Rincon, Centenario and Pocitos properties) up to an aggregate of eighty-five percent (85%) interest in approximately 90,000 acres situated on prospective brine salars ("salt flats") in Argentina; and (ii) the acquisition of Noto Energy S.A. ("Noto"), an Argentinean corporation which owns a one hundred percent (100%) interest over 2,995 acres also situated on promising brine salars in Argentina, (the "Puna Lithium Portfolio").

The Puna Lithium Portfolio consists of four mining properties located on the Puna of Argentina. The properties are strategically located on the Rincon, Centenario, Pocitos, and Cauchari salars, which are all known to have resource potential for lithium and potassium.

On the Centenario salar, historical reconnaissance brine sampling and due diligence sampling carried out by the Company confirms the economic potential of the salar by returning values of up to 1,500 ppm lithium and up to 10,000 ppm potassium. Due to its excellent brine chemistry and other characteristics, Li3 Energy believes that the Centenario project has the potential to be a low cost producer of lithium and potash products and competitive with existing lithium brine producers in South America.

The Rincon property ("Rincon North") is equally significant as it strategically covers the northern portion of the salar, which, coupled with the Company's recently announced letter of intent ("LOI") on the Rincon South property, makes Li3 Energy the second largest land holder on this salar, after the Sentient Group (which is completing design and build plans for a pilot lithium and potassium production facility on the salar). On July 23, 2007 Admiralty Resources (the previous owner of the Sentient Group property) reported a proved plus probable reserve estimate on its property of 1.4 million metric tons of lithium (approximately 7.3 million tons of lithium carbonate) and 50.8 million metric tons of potash. Given the known resources and relatively advanced state of development of the Rincon salar, Li3 Energy management believes that the combination of its Rincon South and Rincon North projects could potentially lead the Company's path to production.

The Cauchari Property is an early stage exploration property; however, the Company is encouraged by results reported by Lithium Americas Corp. on the Cauchari salar, with brine chemistry that compares favorably to commercially viable levels as utilized by other currently producing brine companies with Lithium brine values of up to 871ppm.

The Pocitos Property is also an early stage exploration property occupying a central portion on the Pocitos salar. No systematic sampling has been completed on the salar; however, historic results suggest that the salar has untested lithium and potassium brine exploration potential.

The Company plans an aggressive results-driven exploration program to test and confirm the resource potential of all the noted salars. The program will consist of grid brine sampling, geophysics, drilling and pumping tests which, should results warrant, will lead to the completion of a preliminary economic assessment on the properties.

Luis Saenz, Chief Executive Officer of Li3 Energy, stated: "We are extremely excited by the Puna Lithium Portfolio acquisition. Combined with other recent acquisitions in Nevada and Peru, along with additional options in Argentina and Chile clearly position Li3 Energy as one of the largest holders of prospective lithium acreages in the world. This transaction alone now positions Li3 as a major strategic landholder in the Puna Plateau, which contains the largest concentrations of lithium brines in the world and is the host to over 70% of the world's lithium reserves and production."

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: 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," "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; proving of lithium reserves on its existing properties; lithium prices; future economic conditions; and political stability in the countries in which Li3 Energy operates. 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

Contact Information