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  • Critical Elements confirms ongoing interest and progress in the Rose Project financing negotiations with potential strategic partners.
  • Critical Elements continues to work towards a Rose Project timeline that targets commencement of production of high quality spodumene concentrate in 2026.
  • Management continues its procurement program to purchase long lead time items to protect the Rose Project timeline.
  • Detailed engineering continues to advance with a high degree of confidence consistent with the Rose Project timeline.
  • Programs to meet extensive pre-construction requirements under governmental authorizations and the 2019 Pihkuutaau Agreement are on-target.
  • An initial drill program to test the new Rose West discovery and other targets is expected to commence in early 2024.
  • While the market for lithium and lithium equities has corrected over the past year, management views the future positively.

December 20th, 2023 – MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC – Critical Elements Lithium Corporation (TSX-V: CRE) (US OTCQX: CRECF) (FSE: F12) (“Critical Elements” or the “Corporation”) is pleased with the progress being made to advance the unique Rose Lithium-Tantalum Project (“Rose Project”) in Eeyou Istchee, QuĂ©bec and, ultimately, achieve its vision to become a large-scale, sustainable, and reliable vertically integrated supplier of lithium for the emerging electric vehicle and energy storage industries.

The Rose Lithium-Tantalum project (“Rose or the “Project”) is situated within the Rose and Rose South property blocks (Figure 1), which constitute 395 km2, or only 38% of the Corporation’s highly prospective 1,050 km2 exploration portfolio in Québec.

Summer 2023 Prospecting Results

During the summer of 2023, Critical Elements conducted a prospecting program over several areas, including the Rose, Rose South, Rose North and Nemaska belt properties. The objective of the field program was to identify new pegmatite bodies using systematic rock geochemical sampling of all pegmatite bodies in order to refine the geological interpretation of the properties and prioritize further exploration work including drilling. A total of 774 rock samples were collected (866 samples including QA/QC) during the exploration campaign with 95 samples reporting values over 100 ppm Ta2O5 and/or values over 0.10% Li2O.

As reported on September 12th 2023 and in October 17th, 2023, the press releases state several new outcrop discoveries have been identified in the Rose pegmatite swarm. To date, 4 spodumene-bearing pegmatite outcrops have been identified in this New Discovery Area. At this early stage, the exact strike length, width and orientations of these dykes is unknown, but the apparent strike length along the outcrops exceeds 400m. All results from the summer program have now been received with selected results over 3% Li2O including 3.18% Li2O, 3.00% Li2O, 3.98% Li2O, 3.91% Li2O, and 5.10% Li2O. Full table of best results is shown in Table 1. The reader is cautioned that grab samples are selective by nature and may not represent average grades of the mineralization in the pegmatites. Table 1 provides all sample results with values over 100 ppm Ta2O5 and/or values over 0.10% Li2O. Remaining samples did not return significant values.


Table 1: Best new results from summer program 2023

PropertyNumberUTM NAD 83 ZN18Li2OT a2O5Type
Note: Grab samples are selective by nature and may not represent average grades of the pegmatite
Figure 1: Rose Lithium-Tantalum and Nemaska Belt Projects – Location Map


Figure 2: Rose Lithium-Tantalum – New Discovery Sample – Location Map

Note: Grab samples are selective by nature and may not represent average grades of the pegmatite
Figure 3: Rose Lithium-Tantalum – Sample – Location Map

Note: Grab samples are selective by nature and may not represent average grades of the pegmatite
Figure 4: Lemare Sample – Location Map

Note: Grab samples are selective by nature and may not represent average grades of the pegmatite

Project Financing and Strategic Partner Negotiations

Critical Elements is pleased to provide investors with an update on the ongoing assessment of expressions of interest for financing and developing the Rose Project in collaboration with potential strategic partners. Despite expectations for a conclusion earlier this year, the Corporation recognizes the intricacy of these negotiations and due diligence, requiring time and thorough consideration. Investors can be assured of a continued interest from potential partners, and that the Corporation believes that the process is progressing positively. Management is committed to securing an optimal outcome for the Rose Project’s financing and development. We appreciate your continued support and patience as we work towards a mutually beneficial partnership. Additionally, it is crucial to note that this process is progressing in tandem with the overall development of the Rose Project, as detailed below.

The Rose Project Timeline

Critical Elements continues to work towards a Rose Project timeline that targets commencement of production of high quality spodumene concentrate for chemical conversion and high purity technical concentrate for the glass and ceramics industry in 2026. Furthermore, protecting the Rose Project’s timeline has been a primary objective for management. Significant steps include the change in project scope to incorporate the construction of our own 500-worker camp 4km from the proposed mine site (see the Feasibility Study filed on SEDAR + October 11, 2023). In addition, Critical Elements has commenced its procurement program focused on ensuring long lead time items are available as needed, advanced detailed engineering, and continued delivery of construction pre-conditions. These pre-conditions are required under the Pihkuutaau Agreement signed in July 2019, the favorable decision statement from the federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change announced August 11, 2021, the Certificate of Authorization under Section 164 of Québec’s Environment Quality Act announced November 2, 2022, and the mining lease granted under the Québec Mining Act and announced September 18, 2023. Critical Elements is proud to have achieved these very important milestones, which collectively ensure that eventual production is achieved at the highest levels of environmental and cultural sustainability, an essential component in our close relationship with our Cree neighbours in Eeyou Istchee and a unique quality highly valued input in the global battery value chain.

Procurement Program 

Critical Elements announces that following the order to purchase long lead time equipment (315 kV to 25 kV transformers – see press release October 12, 2023), the Corporation has now ordered several batches of electrical equipment.   These include 315 kV circuit breakers from industry-leading GEPR Energy Canada Inc. (GE).  These purchases will secure the start-up of the power station as quickly as possible. 

Jean-SĂ©bastien LavallĂ©e, Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation stated: “Once again, Critical Elements has taken action to reduce the risks related to the Rose Project schedule.  We are getting closer and closer to our goal of becoming a lithium producer for the electric car market.”

Detailed Engineering and Construction Pre-Conditions

The Corporation has been working over the last several months to meet extensive pre-construction requirements under governmental authorizations:

  • The fish habitat compensation plan and the wetland compensation plan in Cree territory have been updated in collaboration with stakeholders and are now submitted to federal and provincial authorities for approval.
  • The new camp location has been confirmed, and the environmental impact assessment with this new camp and new borrow pits has been completed and filed to the authorities for approval.
  • The summer monitoring program and field surveys have been completed.

Detailed engineering continues to progress well, while working to optimize the planned facilities of the Rose Project:

  • Detailed engineering continues to advance with a high degree of confidence consistent with the Rose Project timeline.
  • Following the LIDAR flyover, up to date topographical data was available, which allowed the engineering team to further refine earthworks design.
  • Site-wide water balance and water management strategy has been reviewed with updated data. This has enabled design optimization of the water storage pond and mine water treatment plant.
  • Design of the co-disposition stockpile progressed well, modelling of its phases over time is completed. Stability analysis is underway.
  • Technical specifications were issued for major process equipment, allowing the tendering process to be initiated. Firm proposals have been received for the first set of equipment and are under technical and commercial analysis.
  • The procurement management program to purchase long lead items is on schedule to support the Rose Project Concentrator detailed engineering.

Exploration Update

Critical Elements has recently received the required drilling permit and has initiated preparation for a drilling program on the exciting new discovery discussed above located only 8km west of the Rose Project (see press releases dated September 12th, 2023 and October 17th, 2023), located within a portion of the Corporation’s highly prospective 1,050 km2 exploration portfolio. The objective of the drilling program is to test, confirm and expand the new zone identified by prospection during the summer. The Corporation plans to start with a program of approximately 5,000m during its winter program on the new discovery with the objective to quickly test the dimension and grade of the new zone and assess the potential to expand the Corporation’s mineral resource inventory. The drilling program will be adjusted and, potentially, expanded based on results of the initial drilling results on the new discovery.

Quality assurance/quality control

Quality assurance and quality control procedures have been implemented to ensure best practices in sampling and analysis of the samples. Standards and blanks were regularly inserted into the sample stream. The samples were delivered, in secure tagged bags, directly to the ALS Minerals laboratory facility in Val-d’Or, Quebec. The samples are weighed and identified prior to sample preparation. The samples are crushed to 70% minus 2 mm, then separated and pulverized to 85% passing 75 ÎĽm. All samples are analyzed using sodium peroxide fusion ME-MS-89L, with full analysis for 52 elements. Value over 25,000 ppm Li were re-assays using Li-ICP-82b and value over 2,500 ppm Ta2O5 were re-assays using Ta-XRF10. 

Qualified persons

Yves Perron, Eng. MBA, Vice-President Engineering, Construction and Operations and SĂ©bastien Perreault, P. Eng., are the qualified persons that have reviewed and approved the technical contents of this news release on behalf of the Corporation.

About Critical Elements Lithium Corporation

Critical Elements aspires to become a large, responsible supplier of lithium to the flourishing electric vehicle and energy storage system industries. To this end, Critical Elements is advancing the wholly-owned, high-purity Rose Lithium-Tantalum project in Québec, the Corporation’s first lithium project to be advanced within a land portfolio of over 1,050 km2. On August 29, 2023, the Corporation announced results of a new Feasibility Study on Rose for the production of spodumene concentrate. The after-tax internal rate of return for the Project is estimated at 65.7%, with an estimated after-tax net present value of US$2.2B at an 8% discount rate. In the Corporation’s view, Québec is strategically well-positioned for US and EU markets and boasts good infrastructure including a low-cost, low-carbon power grid featuring 94% hydroelectricity. The project has received approval from the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change on the recommendation of the Joint Assessment Committee, comprised of representatives from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and the Cree Nation Government, received the Certificate of Authorization pursuant to section 164 of Québec’s Environment Quality Act from the Québec Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, and the project mining lease from the Québec Minister of Natural Resources and Forests under the Québec Mining Act.

For further information, please contact:

Patrick Laperrière
Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Development

Jean-Sébastien Lavallée, P. Géo
Chief Executive Officer

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is described in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Cautionary statement concerning forward-looking statements

This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian Securities legislation. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “scheduled”, “anticipates”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “scheduled”, “targeted”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved”. Forward-looking information contained herein include, without limitation, statements relating to expectations regarding Rose project-level activities including (i) completion of the permitting process, (ii) securing a strategic partnership and project financing leading to a Final Investment Decision and (iii) respecting the Rose project ramp up and commissioning timeline, expectations regarding potential value creation from ongoing and future exploration activities on the Corporation’s projects,  and the Corporation’s ongoing business plan. Such forward-looking information and statements are based on numerous assumptions, including that general business and economic conditions will not change in a material adverse manner, that fundamentals of lithium / spodumene demand and EV market growth and capacity will continue to be strong, that project financing will be available on reasonable terms, and that governmental and other approvals required to conduct the Company’s development activities and planned exploration will be available on reasonable terms and in a timely manner. Although the assumptions made by the Corporation in providing forward-looking information or making forward-looking statements are considered reasonable by management at the time, there can be no assurance that such assumptions will prove to be accurate.

Although Critical Elements has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from expected results described in forward-looking information include, but are not limited to: negative operating cash flow and dependence on third party financing, uncertainty of additional financing, reliance on key management and other personnel, potential downturns in (i) general economic conditions, (ii) demand for lithium / spodumene and (iii) EV market growth, capacity and demand, actual results of exploration activities being different than anticipated, changes in exploration programs based upon results, risks generally associated with the mineral exploration industry, environmental risks, changes in laws and regulations, community relations and delays in obtaining governmental or other approvals, as well as those risk factors set out in the Corporation’s year-end Management Discussion and Analysis for its most recent year ended August 31, 2023 and other disclosure documents available under the Corporation’s SEDAR+ profile (

Forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date of this news release. Although the Corporation has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking information or implied by forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or reissue forward-looking information as a result of new information or events except as required by applicable securities laws.