SOURCE: Li3 Energy, Inc.

Li3 Energy, Inc.

May 16, 2013 09:00 ET

Li3 Reports 2013 signumBOX Rankings

Flagship Maricunga Project Improves Global Lithium Project Ranking; Recently Acquired SLM Cocina "Grandfathered" Lithium Project Transaction Closed

SANTIAGO, CHILE--(Marketwired - May 16, 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 the independent findings of signumBOX. signumBOX is a Chilean based company with extensive experience in the lithium industry that has developed the signumBOX index ranking of more than 90 lithium projects using an objective, quantitative method. The key conclusions of the May 2013 report are:

  • According to the signumBOX Performance Index (SPI), Li3's Maricunga Project in its current state, is ranked as the 4th best undeveloped lithium project in the world out of 47 other brine salars;
  • Li3's Maricunga is ranked behind three Argentina brine projects, making Maricunga the highest ranked undeveloped lithium brine project in Chile;
  • After Atacama, the Maricunga salar has the second highest quality deposit of lithium in Chile;

The ranking does not take into consideration the recently acquired Cocina 19-27 properties at the Maricunga Salar, which could provide for further improvement in the ranking. As previously stated, this strategic lithium asset adjoins Li3's existing Litio 1-6 properties and is not subject to a special permit from the Chilean government in order to exploit the lithium. The administrative documentation for this acquisition has been completed.

Patrick Cussen, Li3's Chairman of the Board, stated: "These are very exciting times for Li3. The Cocina acquisition for the first time paves the way to commercial production without the uncertainty of obtaining a Chilean government permit for lithium exploitation. The signumBOX ranking provides independent confirmation of the world-class asset our Maricunga project represents. Our Management and Technical teams are already evaluating the next steps to take in order to integrate the Cocina property into our development plan. Li3 can now fast track development of this asset with the confidence that the company has, to the best of our knowledge, the only advanced lithium project in Chile that can exploit lithium at the moment. This is truly a major accomplishment for Li3 and a milestone that we believe could add significant value to our shareholders."

Li3 cautions that the information contained in the signumBOX report was current as of May 2013 and is subject to change as the lithium landscape is constantly evolving. Like all index rankings, as other companies' progress is reported, Li3's rankings could change. As Li3 executes and accomplishes it's 2013 goals, we will submit the data to signumBOX for verification and re-balancing of the index ranking. The signumBOX Summary Report is available through paid subscription and details for this can be found at www.signumbox.com.

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 www.li3energy.com.

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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