)(OTCQX:LHMAF) Tuesday reported its financial and operating results for the fiscal year 2012.
The company is focused on the exploration and evaluation of lithium, potassium, and other mineral resources in South America.
For the year, the company invested a total of $39.8 million in property rights, exploration and evaluation activities related to the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in Argentina.
During the period it incurred $11.4 million in property rights, exploration and evaluation cost activities necessary to complete the Definitive Feasibility Study (NYSE:DFS).
As at February 29, the company had $7.3 million in cash and cash equivalents and positive working capital of $5.3 million. The company also has an undrawn $10 million stand-by line of credit available to fund current operations.
Net loss was 77.2 million, or 9 cents per share compared to a loss of $68.8 million, or 8 cents a year earlier.
"After consistently achieving the key milestones in defining and understanding our resource,
is now positioned to complete its Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") and commence construction of one of the world's largest and lowest cost lithium operations",
president and CEO Dr. Waldo A. Perez said.
"In addition to our cash balance, we have secured additional funding through a $10 million stand-by line of credit, which provides us with the financial flexibility to negotiate transactions that will fully maximize shareholder value after completion of the DFS."
Amongst the company's operational highlights during the year, it completed a 3D brine numerical model to simulate brine extraction from its Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project; secured long-term land use agreements with five aboriginal communities located on the Cauchari-Olaroz properties and completed and submitted an Environmental Impact Statement and completed its lithium carbonate pilot plant.
Looking ahead, the company has completed its exploration program and its PEA, and is now focused on completing its Definitive Feasibility Study and other initiatives required in order to begin commercial operations.
Significant milestones that the company will be working towards over the next 12 months with the goal of achieving commercial production within 2014 include: a Definitive Feasibility Study from ARA Worley Parsons is due on or before the end of the second
calendar quarter of 2012; on completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study, the company plans to commence detailed engineering work within 9 to 12 months of commencement.
An Environmental Impact Statement (NYSEARCA:EIS) is the only pending permit the company is legally required to obtain before starting
construction and mining operations at Cauchari-Olaroz. It has already been submitted to the government authorities, and the company expects the EIS to be approved within the second half of calendar year 2012.