Vancouver, Canada – Leading Edge Materials Corp. (“Leading Edge Materials”) or (“the Company”) (TSXV:LEM) (OTCQB: LEMIF) provides an update on the exploration licence and mining lease that cover the Norra Karr rare earth element (“REE”) project in Sweden.
As disclosed by Tasman Metals Ltd (“Tasman”) prior to the recent merger with Leading Edge Materials, the mining lease for Norra Karr, along with three other mining leases held by third parties in Sweden, are presently under reassessment by the Swedish Mines Inspectorate following a recommendation by the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court (“SAC”). The Mines Inspectorate is considering all four mining lease applications to determine any additional information that is required to meet the SAC’s new interpretation of the Mining Act. The Company has been advised by Swedish legal counsel that the Norra Karr Mining Lease remains in force, and is 100% owned by Leading Edge Materials.
The Norra Karr mining lease is surrounded by an Exploration Licence (“EL”) which was first granted to Tasman on August 31, 2009. On August 31, 2015, Tasman applied for a two-year extension of this EL, which was granted by the Swedish Mines Inspectorate. Subsequently, the renewal of the EL was appealed to the Administrative Court in Falun. The Company has now been advised that the appeal was upheld by the Administrative Court, which determined that the Mines Inspectorate was incorrect in granting the renewal to Tasman.
Despite the Court’s decision, as the Norra Karr Mining Lease remains in force, the Swedish Mining Act does not allow for the cancellation of a surrounding EL. Leading Edge Materials continues to seek legal advice to clarify this decision, and will appeal the Administrative Court’s decision if required. Very extensive work has been completed by the Company within the EL area, and the Company is therefore of the opinion that all requirements for renewal, as defined by the Swedish Mining Act, have been met.
Blair Way, President and CEO, states: “Considering the extensive work completed on the EL, our legal advice is that this decision does not affect our 100% ownership of the Norra Karr heavy REE project. Leading Edge Materials has always sought to work closely with the Mines Inspectorate to ensure our documentation was in line with both the Mining Act and expectations. Leading Edge Materials’ clear focus is to expand into the supply of high purity graphite for the burgeoning electric vehicle and energy storage markets. With a fully permitted graphite mine and mill in Sweden and an active test work program, the Company remains at a competitive advantage to most of its peers.
The Norra Karr heavy REE project is considered a longer term investment, and remains a globally significant asset for when industry, once again, seeks the secure supply of HREEs. Our strategy also remains to acquire additional strategic assets across the battery storage raw material chain, which we will look to partner with appropriate end users or companies to extract further value.”
On behalf of the Board,
Blair Way, President & CEO
Forward Looking Information. Certain statements found in this release may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively, “Forward Looking Statements”). Forward-looking statements reflect the speaker’s current views with respect to future events and financial performance and include any statement that does not directly relate to a current or historical fact. Such statements reflect the current risks, uncertainties and assumptions related to certain factors including, without limitations, the Norra Karr mining lease and exploration licence status, the Company’s ability to acquire additional strategic assets, competitive factors, general economic conditions, customer relations, uncertainties related to the availability and costs of financing, changes in corporate goals, unexpected expenditures, unexpected geological conditions, success of future development initiatives, imprecision in mineral resource estimates, ability to obtain necessary permits and approvals, court rulings, relationships with vendors and strategic partners, the interest rate environment, governmental regulation and supervision, seasonality, technological change, changes in industry practices, changes in world metal markets, changes in equity markets, environmental and safety risks, and one-time events. Should any one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. Forward-looking statements cannot be guaranteed and actual results may vary materially due to the uncertainties and risks, known and unknown, associated with such statements. Shareholders and other readers should not place undue reliance on “forward-looking statements,” as such statements speak only as of the date of this release.
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