March 2020 Quarterly Report

ID: 1557795
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(businesspress24) - Piedmont Lithium Limited (ASX: PLL; NASDAQ: PLL) (Piedmont or Company) is pleased to present its March 2020 quarterly report. Highlights during and subsequent to the quarter were:

- Hatch continues to progress its work on the chemical plant pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the Companys Piedmont Lithium Project (Project) in the United States and remains on track for delivery in Q2 2020. The chemical plant PFS will provide refined estimates of our capital and operating costs and should reinforce our position as a low-cost US-based producer of lithium hydroxide.
- Lithium hydroxide testwork on samples of spodumene concentrate produced from the Projects ore is progressing SGS laboratories in Canada. Work has been delayed due to impacts related to COVID-19, however the delay is not expected to impact our overall development timeline. The final process flowsheet has been determined samples will soon be ready for delivery to prospective customers.
- Chemical plant permitting activities continue, with background studies to be used in the chemical plant permit applications proceeding on schedule. We plan to submit these permit applications shortly after completion of the chemical plant PFS and expect to receive these permits by the end of 2020.
- Continued numerous preliminary off-take, financing and strategic conversations, including companies from the lithium, mining, chemicals, battery, automotive and private equity sectors.
- Soil and rock chip sampling at the Project in North Carolina, United States, led to the discovery of five new spodumene-bearing pegmatites in areas that have not previously been explored.
- Assays from the final 19 drill holes of the Phase 4 drilling program at the Projects Central and Core properties intersected significant mineralization, including 36.0m (at) 1.11% Li2O and 44.9m (at) 1.30% Li2O in Hole 19-CT-19, 13.0m (at) 1.28% Li2O and 7.3m (at) 1.37% Li2O in Hole 19-CT-26, and 14.8m (at) 1.55% Li2O and 12.4m (at) 1.02% Li2O in Hole 19-BD-332.



Next steps:

- Complete the chemical plant PFS and a fully integrated Scoping Study Update in Q2 2020.
- Finalize the bench scale lithium hydroxide testwork program and produce initial product samples in Q2 2020.
- Submit key chemical plant permit applications including a synthetic minor source air permit application.
- Build out project construction and sales & marketing teams.
- Continue offtake discussions for lithium hydroxide and by-product quartz, feldspar and mica.
- Continue to evaluate strategic partnering options.

For further information, contact:

Keith D. Phillips | President & CEO--
T: +1 973 809 0505----
E: kphillips(at)piedmontlithium.com

Project Overview
Piedmont Lithium Limited (ASX: PLL; NASDAQ: PLL) holds a 100% interest in the Piedmont Lithium Project located within the TSB and along trend to the Hallman Beam and Kings Mountain mines, which historically provided most of the western worlds lithium between the 1950s and the 1980s. The TSB has been described as one of the largest lithium regions in the world and is located approximately 25 miles west of Charlotte, North Carolina.
In August 2019 the Company published an expanded Scoping Study for an integrated lithium hydroxide business, which featured a 25-year project life, NPV8 of US$1.45 billion, a US$3,105 per tonne lithium hydroxide cash operating cost, and a US$199 per tonne spodumene concentrate cash operating cost.

https://www.irw-press.at/prcom/images/messages/2020/51710/200331-Quarterly Report_March 2020_PLL_FINAL_PRcom.001.jpeg

Figure 1: Piedmont Lithium Project located within the TSB

Chemical Plant Study
During the quarter, Hatch continued to progress its work on the chemical plant PFS and remains on track for delivery in Q2 2020. The chemical plant PFS will provide refined estimates of our capital and operating costs and should reinforce our position as a low-cost US-based producer of lithium hydroxide.
Hatch is a global leader in the development of lithium conversion projects with notable experience including the full EPCM delivery of the Galaxy/Tianqi (Jiangsu) lithium conversion plant in China, the current detailed design engineering for two other spodumene to hydroxide plants, and of one brine conversion plant, in varied locations. Hatch has also studied lithium chemical projects for Mineral Resources (Australia), Kidman/Covalent (Australia), Desert Lion (Namibia), Savannah Resources (Portugal), among many others.

During the quarter Hatch finalized process flowsheet design for the planned 22,700 t/y lithium hydroxide chemical plant. Additionally, the site plan based on Piedmonts Kings Mountain property has been completed to a PFS level. Capital and operating costs have been concluded and final report drafting is underway.

https://www.irw-press.at/prcom/images/messages/2020/51710/200331-Quarterly Report_March 2020_PLL_FINAL_PRcom.002.jpeg

Figure 2: Piedmonts Lithium Hydroxide Chemical Plant located in Kings Mountain, NC

Piedmonts chemical plant PFS economics will be based on the concept of a merchant chemical business purchasing spodumene concentrate from the open market. The merchant chemical plant PFS is expected to highlight the compelling advantages of locating lithium chemical production in the south-eastern United States, and will underscore the potential for Piedmont to expand its business longer-term by pursuing a merchant conversion strategy as an adjunct to its core integrated business. Most of the worlds spodumene production is currently upgraded to lithium chemicals by third-party Chinese converters, and we believe Piedmonts chemical plant may become an attractive alternative to the Chinese for other spodumene producers.

The chemical plant PFS will be accompanied by a Scoping Study Update (SSU) for the fully-integrated Piedmont Lithium Project. The SSU will incorporate the capital cost, operating cost, and ramp-up outcomes from the chemical plant PFS, along with the PFS-level engineering estimates that were completed for the mine/concentrator in 2019.

Importantly, the SSU will consider the economics of building the entire fully-integrated Piedmont Lithium Project in a single stage. This strategy was previously announced by the Company in 2019 and reflects an acceleration of the lithium chemical plant compared with prior studies.

Lithium Hydroxide Testwork

During the quarter, Piedmont continued to progress its lithium hydroxide bench-scale metallurgical program at SGS laboratories in Lakefield, Ontario. Final lithium hydroxide crystallization steps are under way but have taken longer than planned due to travel restrictions and remote working practices being implemented at the SGS laboratory due to COVID-19. We do not expect this extended completion of testwork to have an impact on our other activities.

The bench-scale program will produce lithium hydroxide (LiOH) samples for delivery to prospective offtake partners. The flowsheet developed during this testwork program has been finalized and serves as the basis of the chemical plant PFS to be completed in Q2 2020. Figure 3 outlines the optimized testwork flowsheet currently underway with SGS.
https://www.irw-press.at/prcom/images/messages/2020/51710/200331-Quarterly Report_March 2020_PLL_FINAL_PRcom.003.jpeg

Figure 3: Piedmonts Lithium Hydroxide Testwork Program Block Flow Diagram

Piedmont has been in close communication with prospective offtake parties with respect to timing of availability of hydroxide samples.

SGS is advancing a lithium conversion testwork program using a direct-to-hydroxide approach developed in collaboration with Piedmont Lithium personnel and engineering consultants Hatch and Primero Group. Piedmont previously announced outstanding PFS-level metallurgical results for the production of spodumene concentrate (see press release dated July 16, 2019). The concentrate produced during that program and other spodumene concentrate produced from the same composite sample is now being used by SGS for the ongoing bench-scale lithium hydroxide testwork.

Permitting

During the quarter, Piedmont continued to advance background studies related to the permitting of the planned lithium hydroxide chemical plant in Kings Mountain, NC. Air permitting has been identified as the expected long-lead permit for the chemical plant. Emissions estimates completed during the chemical plant PFS continue to support the Companys intent to apply for a synthetic minor source permit under the Clean Air Act Title V program. The Company expect to apply for and receive the air permit and other key permits required for construction of the lithium chemical plant by the end of 2020.

Drilling

Assays from the final 19 drill holes of the Phase 4 drilling program at our Central and Core properties intersected significant mineralization, including

- 36.0m (at) 1.11% Li2O and 44.9m (at) 1.30% Li2O in Hole 19-CT-19;
- 13.0m (at) 1.28% Li2O and 7.3m (at) 1.37% Li2O in Hole 19-CT-26; and
- 14.8m (at) 1.55% Li2O and 12.4m (at) 1.02% Li2O in Hole 19-BD-332.

These drill results continue to expand the extent of mineralization on both properties. At Central, mineralization has been extended laterally, to the southwest, and down dip. At the Core property, 5 of the 7 holes confirmed a significant new flat lying pegmatite in the southwest portion of the property.

Additionally, Piedmont has undertaken soil sampling over the past year which has proved to be a valuable exploration tool within the TSB. This years soil sampling program followed by rock chip sampling has led to the discovery of five new spodumene-bearing pegmatites on Piedmont exploration properties. The regional data continues to highlight the overall size and continuity of the Carolina TSB and its importance as a domestic source for the critical element, lithium.

https://www.irw-press.at/prcom/images/messages/2020/51710/200331-Quarterly Report_March 2020_PLL_FINAL_PRcom.004.jpeg

Figure 4: TSB Map showing Piedmont MRE, New Pegmatite Discoveries, and Historical Mines and Data

Finally, recent XRD analysis from two composite samples, one from Core and one from Central, continue to identify spodumene as the only lithium bearing mineral identified.

Corporate

During the quarter, Piedmont continued preliminary off-take, financing, and strategic conversations with numerous parties from the lithium, mining, chemicals, battery, automotive and private equity sectors.

Piedmont also advanced conversations with several experienced lithium professionals with the aim of building out the Companys capabilities in construction, processing and marketing following the release of our PFS. The depth of lithium chemical expertise in North Carolina is unparalleled in the English-speaking world, and we believe we will continue to attract talented individuals to join our entrepreneurial team.

Piedmont finished the quarter with a cash balance of US$9.0 million (A$14.5 million), sufficient to fund activities for four quarters at the current rate, and longer if the Company chooses to advance the project more gradually in the event of a prolonged market downturn.

During the quarter, Mr Anastasios (Taso) Arima stepped down as Executive Director of the Company to focus on his other business interests. Mr Arima remains as a Non-Executive Director of the Company.

Mining Tenements

As at March 31, 2020, the Project comprised approximately 2,130 acres, of which the Group owns approximately 370 acres of freehold land and associated mineral rights and has entered into exclusive option agreements with local landowners, which upon exercise, allow the Group to purchase (or in some cases long-term lease) approximately 1,760 acres of surface property and the associated mineral rights from the private landowners.

During the quarter the Company purchased approximately 307 acres of surface property (and associated mineral rights) upon exercising existing option agreements. The Company did not enter into any additional option agreements with local landowners during the quarter. The Company relinquished approximately 164 acres of land options during the quarter, following a determination by the Company that these properties were unlikely to have significant mineralization potential.

In addition, the Company also owns a property in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, comprising approximately 61 acres.

Related Party Payments

During the quarter, the Company made payments of approximately $143,000 to related parties and their associates. These payments relate to executive directors remuneration, non-executive directors fees, employer 401(k) contributions, superannuation contributions, and fees for services in relation to business development activities.

Forward Looking Statements

This announcement may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the Companys expectations and beliefs concerning future events. Forward looking statements are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of the Company, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. The Company makes no undertaking to subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this announcement, to reflect the circumstances or events after the date of that announcement.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources

The information contained in this announcement has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Australia, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. The terms "mineral resource", "measured mineral resource", "indicated mineral resource" and "inferred mineral resource" are Australian terms defined in accordance with the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the JORC Code). However, these terms are not defined in Industry Guide 7 ("SEC Industry Guide 7") under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act"), and are normally not permitted to be used in reports and filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Accordingly, information contained herein that describes Piedmonts mineral deposits may not be comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to reporting and disclosure requirements under the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in Piedmonts Form 20-F, a copy of which may be obtained from Piedmont or from the EDGAR system on the SECs website at http://www.sec.gov/.

Competent Persons Statements

The information in this report that relates to Exploration Results, Exploration Targets, Mineral Resources, Metallurgical Testwork Results, Process Design, Process Plant Capital Costs, and Process Plant Operating Costs, Mining Engineering and Mining Schedule was extracted from our ASX announcement dated August 7, 2019 entitled Updated Scoping Study Extends Project Life and Enhances Exceptional Economics which is available to view on the Companys website at www.piedmontlithium.com. Piedmont confirms that: a) it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original ASX announcements; b) all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning Mineral Resources, Exploration Targets, Production Targets, and related forecast financial information derived from Production Targets included in the original ASX announcements continue to apply and have not materially changed; and c) the form and context in which the relevant Competent Persons findings are presented in this report have not been materially modified from the original ASX announcements.

This announcement has been authorised for release by the Companys CEO, Mr. Keith Phillips.


Appendix 5B
Mining exploration entity or oil and gas exploration entity
quarterly cash flow report
Name of entity
Piedmont Lithium Limited
ABN Quarter ended (current
quarter)

50 002 664 495 31 March 2020

Consolidated statement of Current Year to date
cash quarter (9 months)
flows US$000
US$000
1. Cash flows from - -
operating
activities

1.1 Receipts from customers
1.2 Payments for (415) (3,166)
(a) exploration &
evaluation (if
expensed)

(b) development - -
(c) production - -
(d) staff costs (422) (1,603)
(e) administration and (270) (866)
corporate
costs

1.3 Dividends received (see - -
note
3)

1.4 Interest received 68 186
1.5 Interest and other costs (19) (26)
of finance
paid

1.6 Income taxes paid - -
1.7 Government grants and - -
tax
incentives

1.8 Other (provide details (176) (718)
if
material):

(a) business
development

1.9 Net cash from / (used (1,234) (6,193)
in) operating
activities


2. Cash flows from - -
investing
activities

2.1 Payments to acquire:
(a) entities
(b) tenements - -
(c) property, plant and (13) (13)
equipment

(d) exploration & (1,049) (2,977)
evaluation (if
capitalised)

(e) investments - -
(f) other non-current - -
assets

2.2 Proceeds from the - -
disposal
of:

(a) entities
(b) tenements - -
(c) property, plant and - -
equipment

(d) investments - -
(e) other non-current - -
assets

2.3 Cash flows from loans to - -
other entities


2.4 Dividends received (see - -
note
3)

2.5 Other (provide details - -
if
material)

2.6 Net cash from / (used (1,062) (2,990)
in) investing
activities


3. Cash flows from - 14,690
financing
activities

3.1 Proceeds from issues of
equity securities
(excluding convertible
debt
securities)

3.2 Proceeds from issue of - -
convertible debt
securities

3.3 Proceeds from exercise - -
of
options

3.4 Transaction costs (3) (754)
related to issues of
equity securities or
convertible debt
securities

3.5 Proceeds from borrowings - -
3.6 Repayment of borrowings - -
3.7 Transaction costs - -
related to loans and
borrowings

3.8 Dividends paid - -
3.9 Other (provide details - -
if
material)

3.10Net cash from / (used (3) 13,936
in) financing
activities


4. Net increase /
(decrease) in cash and
cash equivalents for
the
period

4.1 Cash and cash 11,393 4,432
equivalents at
beginning of
period

4.2 Net cash from / (used (1,234) (6,193)
in) operating
activities (item 1.9
above)

4.3 Net cash from / (used (1,062) (2,990)
in) investing
activities (item 2.6
above)

4.4 Net cash from / (used (3) 13,936
in) financing
activities (item 3.10
above)

4.5 Effect of movement in (142) (233)
exchange rates on cash
held

4.6 Cash and cash 8,952 8,952
equivalents at end of
period

5. Reconciliation of cash Current Previous
and cash quarter quarter
equivalents
US$000 US$000
at the end of the
quarter (as shown in
the consolidated
statement of cash
flows) to the related
items in the
accounts

5.1 Bank balances 2,117 2,179
5.2 Call deposits 6,835 9,214
5.3 Bank overdrafts - -
5.4 Other (provide details) - -
5.5 Cash and cash 8,952 11,393
equivalents at end of
quarter (should equal
item 4.6
above)

6. Payments to related parties of the Current
entity and their quarter
associates
US$000
6.1 Aggregate amount of payments to (143)
related parties and their associates
included in item
1

6.2 Aggregate amount of payments to -
related parties and their associates
included in item
2

Note: if any amounts are shown in items 6.1 or 6.2,
your quarterly activity report must include a
description of, and an explanation for, such
payments

7. Financing facilities Total Amount drawn
Note: the term facility at quarter
facility includes all amount at end
forms of financing quarter
arrangements available end US$000
to the
entity. US$000

Add notes as necessary
for an understanding of
the sources of finance
available to the
entity.

7.1 Loan facilities - -
7.2 Credit standby - -
arrangements

7.3 Other (please specify) - -
7.4 Total financing - -
facilities


7.5 Unused financing facilities available
at quarter
end

7.6 Include in the box below a description of each
facility above, including the lender, interest
rate, maturity date and whether it is secured or
unsecured. If any additional financing facilities
have been entered into or are proposed to be
entered into after quarter end, include a note
providing details of those facilities as
well.

Not applicable

8. Estimated cash available for future US$000
operating
activities

8.1 Net cash from / (used in) operating (1,234)
activities (Item
1.9)

8.2 Capitalised exploration & evaluation ((1,049)
Item
2.1(d))

8.3 Total relevant outgoings (Item 8.1 + (2,283)
Item
8.2)

8.4 Cash and cash equivalents at quarter 8,952
end (Item
4.6)

8.5 Unused finance facilities available -
at quarter end (Item
7.5)

8.6 Total available funding (Item 8.4 + 8,952
Item
8.5)

8.7 Estimated quarters of funding 4
available (Item 8.6 divided by Item
8.3)

8.8 If Item 8.7 is less than 2 quarters, please provide
answers to the following
questions:

1.-Does the entity expect that it will continue to
have the current level of net operating cash flows
for the time being and, if not, why
not?

Not applicable
2.-Has the entity taken any steps, or does it
propose to take any steps, to raise further cash
to fund its operations and, if so, what are those
steps and how likely does it believe that they
will be
successful?

Not applicable
3.-Does the entity expect to be able to continue
its operations and to meet its business objectives
and, if so, on what
basis?

Not applicable



Compliance statement
1-This statement has been prepared in accordance with accounting standards and policies which comply with Listing Rule 19.11A.
2-This statement gives a true and fair view of the matters disclosed.

Date:-29 April 2020------

Authorised by:-Company Secretary-----
(Name of body or officer authorising release - see note 4)

Notes
1.-This quarterly cash flow report and the accompanying activity report provide a basis for informing the market about the entitys activities for the past quarter, how they have been financed and the effect this has had on its cash position. An entity that wishes to disclose additional information over and above the minimum required under the Listing Rules is encouraged to do so.
2.-If this quarterly cash flow report has been prepared in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards, the definitions in, and provisions of, AASB 6: Exploration for and Evaluation of Mineral Resources and AASB 107: Statement of Cash Flows apply to this report. If this quarterly cash flow report has been prepared in accordance with other accounting standards agreed by ASX pursuant to Listing Rule 19.11A, the corresponding equivalent standards apply to this report.
3.-Dividends received may be classified either as cash flows from operating activities or cash flows from investing activities, depending on the accounting policy of the entity.
4.-If this report has been authorised for release to the market by your board of directors, you can insert here: By the board. If it has been authorised for release to the market by a committee of your board of directors, you can insert here: By the [name of board committee - eg Audit and Risk Committee]. If it has been authorised for release to the market by a disclosure committee, you can insert here: By the Disclosure Committee.
5.-If this report has been authorised for release to the market by your board of directors and you wish to hold yourself out as complying with recommendation 4.2 of the ASX Corporate Governance Councils Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations, the board should have received a declaration from its CEO and CFO that, in their opinion, the financial records of the entity have been properly maintained, that this report complies with the appropriate accounting standards and gives a true and fair view of the cash flows of the entity, and that their opinion has been formed on the basis of a sound system of risk management and internal control which is operating effectively.





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Date: 05/01/2020 - 05:20
Language: English
News-ID 1557795
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