July 4, 2016 / 9:42 PM / 3 years ago

As lithium market booms, explorer Neo Lithium eyes Toronto listing

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

(Reuters) - Neo Lithium Corp, a small lithium exploration company with a recent discovery in Argentina, is planning to list on Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange around July 15, its chief executive, Waldo Perez, said on Monday.

The company, which owns the 3Q brine-reservoir lithium project in northwest Argentina, is fully funded for now after three recent rounds of financing brought in C$18 million ($14.01 million), Perez said in an interview.

“But we have a very aggressive business plan to develop the project... so there may be other financings coming,” said Perez, who is the former CEO of Lithium Americas (LAC.TO) and the founder of its Cauchari project in Argentina.

Lithium forms a small but irreplaceable component of rechargeable batteries, used in electric cars and consumer devices like mobile phones.

Prices have soared in the past year, and demand is set to outstrip supply by 2023, according to specialist consultants Stormcrow Capital. Shares in some lithium companies have more than tripled in value this year as investors and speculators have piled in.

Most lithium is produced in Australia and Chile, with the bulk of the world’s reserves straddling huge salt flats in Chile, Bolivia and Argentina.

Early sampling at Neo Lithium’s 3Q project, which was only discovered this past December, suggests high lithium grades and low impurities, Dundee Securities’ analysts said in a June 13 report.

The company is readying for a drill program at 3Q in the spring to produce resource and reserve estimates. Its goal is to start building brine ponds next year and to be able to have a concentrated lithium-containing brine in about two years time, Perez said.

Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Sandra Maler

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