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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Talison Lithium Reports Fiscal Q1 2012 Results

Talison Lithium Limited

TSX : TLH


November 2011



PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2011) - Talison Lithium Limited ("Talison" or the "Company") (TSX:TLH) today announced results for the first quarter of the 2012 fiscal year.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sales volumes for the first quarter of 80,315 tonnes of lithium concentrate (approximately 12,000 tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent ("LCE")), a 53% increase quarter on quarter1.
  • Revenue of A$25.9m, a 61% increase in US$ terms quarter on quarter.
  • Average sales price increased 5% and operating cost per tonne reduced 6% quarter on quarter.
  • Earnings before interest, income tax, and depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") of A$6.1 million2 and EBITDA margin of 24%.
  • Operating cash flow of A$8.2 million.
  • Cash and cash equivalents at September 30, 2011 of A$91.3 million.
  • Construction of the Stage 2 expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations to double production capacity continued during the quarter on schedule and on budget.
  • New Offices in Shanghai and Santiago established to strengthen relationships with customers and facilitate the development of the Salares 7 Project, respectively.
FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS
Talison generated revenue of A$25.9 million in the quarter. In US$ terms, sales revenue was 61% higher than Q1 fiscal year 2011 (excluding one-off crushed ore sales in Q1 fiscal 2011) however, in A$ terms sales revenue increased only 23% as a result of the adverse impact of a 16% increase in the value of the A$ against the US$ between the two periods.

The Company realized an average sales price per tonne of lithium concentrate of US$330, a 5% increase over the Q1 fiscal year 2011 average sales price of US$313.

Talison sold 80,315 tonnes of lithium concentrate during the quarter (approximately 12,000 tonnes LCE), a 53% increase quarter on quarter. Production volume increased 12% quarter on quarter to 90,708 tonnes of lithium concentrate (approximately 13,500 tonnes LCE) as the Company realized the full benefits of the completion of its Stage 1 capacity expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations.

Cash operating cost of goods sold per tonne of lithium concentrate was A$207, a 6% reduction quarter on quarter due to economies of scale as production capacity increased.

EBITDA was A$6.1 million, reflecting an increase in the EBITDA margin to 24% of revenue despite a 16% appreciation in the value of the A$. A constant exchange rate would have resulted in an EBITDA margin of approximately 33%, reflecting the increase in average sales price and reduction in cash operating cost of goods sold during the quarter.
The table below summarizes the Company's key financial metrics for Fiscal Q1 2012.

FISCAL Q1 2012 RESULTS SUMMARY
(In thousands and A$ unless noted otherwise)



Q1 FY 12
Change
Q1 FY 11
Sales Volume (tonnes lithium concentrate)
80,315
53 %
52,525









Average sales price
US$330
5 %
US$313









Revenue $ 25,879
23 % $ 21,072









Cash Operating COGS/tonne $ 207
-6 % $ 221









EBITDA $ 6,126
28 % $ 4,770









EBITDA Margin
24 % 4 %
23 %









Net fair value gain/(loss) on revaluation of financial assets and liabilities3
(6,419 ) -206 %
6,067









Net finance income/(expense) – other
3,336
841 %
(450 )









Depreciation and amortisation
(688 ) -16 %
(820 )









Income tax expense
(748 ) -80 %
(3,693 )









Net Income $ 1,607
-73 % $ 5,874









Basic EPS $ 0.02
-82 % $ 0.11









Shares
107,731
101 %
53,569









Additional Data







Volume sold LCE
12,000
53 %
7,800
Production LCE
13,500
12 %
12,000
FIRST QUARTER OPERATIONS
During the quarter Talison continued to progress its three growth projects.

Stage 2 Expansion
The Company is doubling its capacity to produce lithium concentrate to 740,000 tonnes (approximately 110,000 tonnes LCE) per year with the Stage 2 expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations. Talison will ultimately spend A$65 to A$70 million to complete this project. Commissioning of the expansion is expected in the fiscal fourth quarter 2012 (Q2 Calendar Year 2012). Construction remains on budget and on schedule. During the quarter, foundations and civil works were nearing completion and off-site fabrication is well advanced with significant plant component parts delivered to site in preparation for the commencement of on-site construction.
To view "Figure 1: Stage 2 expansion progress at Greenbushes",please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/TalisonFigure1.pdf.

Minerals Conversion Plant
Talison is aggressively pursuing its proposed plant to convert lithium minerals into lithium carbonate ("Minerals Conversion Plant"). Preliminary engineering and location studies for the proposed Minerals Conversion Plant are continuing. The potential location has been narrowed to the Greenbushes Lithium Operation and one other Western Australian location. The external engineering consultant is preparing estimates of capital costs and operating costs which should be completed by the end of this calendar year. Based on the initial indications of operating costs, Talison believes that it will be a globally competitive lithium carbonate producer.

Salares 7 Project
Following the receipt of outstanding results from the first drilling program at the Salares 7 Project in the 2011 fiscal year, Talison is accelerating the next phase of the exploration program which is now underway. Talison expects to invest approximately US$5 million on this program in the 2012 fiscal year with the objective of defining a potential lithium mineral resource at Salar de la Isla.

New offices opened in Shanghai and Santiago
During the quarter, Talison opened an office in Shanghai to support its growing business in China. The new office will assist the Company in strengthening relationships with new and existing customers.
Talison has also established an office in Santiago to facilitate the development of the Salares 7 Project. This office will support the exploration, environmental and process test work currently being undertaken by the Company in Chile.

FISCAL 2012 OUTLOOK
Talison expects production of lithium concentrate in fiscal Q2 2012 to be in-line with that of fiscal Q1 2012. The Company expects sales of lithium concentrate for the six months to December 31, 2011 to be in line with production. Talison secured price increases for two shipments in fiscal Q1 2012 and expects further positive price movements for sales in calendar 2012. 

During fiscal 2012, Talison expects production and sales volumes to remain constrained until commissioning of the Stage 2 expansion in fiscal Q4 2012. Because the commissioning is expected to occur late in the year, the additional production capacity will not impact sales until fiscal 2013. However, the full year of contribution from the Stage 1 Expansion, combined with anticipated process improvements, should enable full year 2012 sales to approximately equate to fiscal Q4 2011 sales on an annualized basis.

FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS CONFERENCE CALL
Talison will host a conference call to discuss the financial results on Monday, November 14, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. (Eastern). The call is being webcast by Thomson Reuters and can be accessed at www.earnings.com or at Talison's website, www.talisonlithium.com.
Teleconference call details are as follows:
North America: +1 (866) 270-6057
International: +1 (617) 213-8891
Participant Code: 78443753
Chairperson: Peter Oliver, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director


Replay
Available from: November 14, 2011, 11:00 a.m. (Eastern)
Available to: November 21, 2011
Dial In: +1 (888) 286-8010
International: +1 (617) 801-6888
Passcode: 90648347
ABOUT TALISON
Talison is a leading global producer of lithium. Talison mines and processes the lithium bearing mineral spodumene at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations in Western Australia. In addition, Talison explores for lithium at the Salares 7 lithium project made up of seven salars (brine lakes and surrounding concessions) located in Region III, Chile. Talison has an extensive, well established global customer network and a leading position in the growing Chinese market.
  1. Information in this press release is in relation to the financial condition and results of operations of Talison Lithium Limited ("Talison" or the "Company") as at September 30, 2011 and for the three months ended September 30, 2011. This press release should be read in conjunction with the unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements of Talison and the related notes thereto as at September 30, 2011 and for the three months ended September 30, 2011 (collectively, the "Financial Statements"). The financial information contained in this press release is derived from the Financial Statements, which were prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). All amounts in this press release are expressed in Australian dollars ("A$") unless otherwise identified. References to "C$" are to Canadian dollars and references to "US$" are to United States dollars.

  2. The term "EBITDA" is a non-IFRS financial measure. For a reconciliation of EBITDA to its IFRS-compliant income statement, refer to "Non-IFRS Performance Measures" in Management's Discussion and Analysis of the financial condition and results of operations of Talison Lithium Limited as at September 30, 2011 and for the three months ended September 30, 2011 (which can be found on Talison's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com).
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
INCOME STATEMENT Three Months Ended
September 30, 2011
(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended
September 30, 2010
(Unaudited)(1)

Twelve Months Ended
June 30, 2011
(Audited)(1)

A$'000
A$'000
A$'000
Sales revenue 25,879
21,072
109,501
Operating costs (16,594 ) (13,235 ) (70,616 )
Other income / (expenses) (3,159 ) (3,067 ) (14,819 )
EBITDA(3) 6,126
4,770(2)
24,066(2)
Depreciation and amortization (688 ) (820 ) (3,428 )
Net financing income / (costs) 857
(3,859 ) (3,798 )
Net realized US$ hedging gain 2,048
(40 ) 2,979
Net realized foreign exchange gain / (loss) 431
3,449
7,561
Net fair value gain/(loss) on financial assets and liabilities (6,419 ) 6,067
4,664
Income tax (expense) / benefit (748 ) (3,693 ) (9,108 )
Net profit/(loss) for the period 1,607
5,874
22,936

25,879











Basic earnings per share (cents/share)(4) 1.5
11.0
25.7
Diluted earnings per share (cents/share)(4) 1.5
10.8
24.9
Basic weighted average number of shares 107,730,822
53,569,136
89,321,871

Notes:
(1) The financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2010 and twelve months ended June 30, 2011 are comprised of the results of Talison for the period from August 12, 2010 to September 30, 2010 and from August 12, 2010 to June 30, 2011 (i.e., post-Reorganization), respectively, and the carve-out results of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations for the period from July 1, 2010 to August 11, 2010 (i.e., pre-Reorganization). Readers are cautioned that the results for the period from July 1, 2010 to August 11, 2010 may not be reflective of the ongoing affairs of Talison.


(2) EBITDA for the three months ended September 30, 2010 and twelve months ended June 30, 2011 included A$1.6 million in non-recurring Reorganization costs.


(3) EBITDA is a non IFRS financial measure. For a reconciliation of EBITDA to its IFRS compliant income statement, see "Non-IFRS Performance Measures".


(4) Basic and diluted earnings per share have been calculated based on the weighted average number of shares on issue. For the three months ended September 30, 2011, the weighted average number of shares includes both the outstanding ordinary shares of Talison adjusted to remove ordinary shares held by the Talison Long Term Incentive Plan Trust which is consolidated under IFRS, and the exchangeable shares of Talison Lithium Exchangeco Limited, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Talison that are exchangeable (on a one-for-one basis) for ordinary shares of Talison. For the three months ended September 30, 2010 and twelve months ended June 30, 2011, the weighted average number of shares includes the outstanding ordinary shares of Talison adjusted to remove ordinary shares held by the Talison Long Term Incentive Plan Trust which is consolidated under IFRS, the exchangeable shares of Talison Lithium Exchangeco Limited that are exchangeable (on a one-for-one basis) for ordinary shares of Talison, and the ordinary shares of Talison Minerals adjusted for the Talison Minerals share consolidation which occurred as part of the Reorganization. See "Outstanding Share Data".


STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION As at
September 30, 2011
(Unaudited)
A$'000
As at
June 30, 2011
(Audited)
A$'000
Assets

Cash and cash equivalents 91,341 102,605
Trade and other receivables 20,884 21,543
Inventories 13,955 11,182
Derivative financial instruments 3,638 10,205
Deferred tax assets - -
Property, plant and equipment 111,861 95,215
Exploration and evaluation assets 62,346 61,714
Total assets 304,025 302,464
Liabilities

Trade and other payables 10,377 12,380
Interest-bearing liabilities 31,576 29,243
Tax payable 2,005 -
Provisions 14,246 14,668
Derivative financial instruments 1,030 -
Deferred tax liabilities 8,043 10,622
Total liabilities 67,277 66,913
Shareholders' equity 236,748 235,551




As at
September 30, 2011
(Unaudited)
A$'000

As at
June 30, 2011
(Audited)
A$'000






Outstanding number of shares



Ordinary shares of Talison 110,987,326
110,527,347
Exchangeable shares of Talison Lithium Exchangeco Limited(1) 1,083,192
1,494,239
Shares held in trust(2) (4,299,367 ) (4,299,367 )
Total outstanding number of shares 107,771,151
107,722,219

Notes:
(1) The exchangeable shares of Talison Lithium Exchangeco Limited are exchangeable (on a one-for-one basis) for ordinary shares of Talison. See "Outstanding Share Data".


(2) On June 7, 2011, Talison Lithium established the Incentive Plan Trust. Talison Lithium issued 3,862,767 ordinary shares to the Incentive Plan Trust and the Incentive Plan Trust purchased 436,600 ordinary shares of Talison Lithium on-market.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this press release, including any information as to Talison's mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates, strategy, projects, plans, prospects, future outlook, anticipated events or results or future financial or operating performance, may constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, constitute forward-looking information. Forward-looking information can often, but not always, be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", "predicts", "potential", "continue" or "believes", or variations (including negative variations) of such words, or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "should", "might", "potential to", or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved or other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The purpose of forward-looking information is to provide the reader with information about management's expectations and plans. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. All forward-looking statements made or incorporated in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based on a number of factors, estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Talison, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Such factors, estimates and assumptions include, but are not limited to: anticipated financial and operating performance of Talison, its subsidiaries and their respective projects; Talison's market position; future prices of lithium or lithium concentrates; estimation of mineral reserves and mineral resources; realization of mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates; timing, amount and costs of estimated future production; grade, quality and content of concentrate produced; sale of production; capital, operating and exploration expenditures; costs and timing of the expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations; exploration and development of the Salares 7 lithium project; costs and timing of future exploration; requirements for additional capital; government regulation of exploration, development and mining operations; environmental risks; reclamation and rehabilitation expenses; title disputes or claims; absence of significant risks relating to Talison's mining operations; the costs of Talison's hedging policy; sales risks related to China; currency; interest rates, and limitations of insurance coverage. While Talison considers these factors, estimates and assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect and actual results may vary.
Readers are cautioned that forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Talison and/or its subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such risk factors include, amount others, those described in the Financial Statements and under the heading "Risk Factors" in the annual information form of Talison for the year ended June 30, 2011 dated September 23, 2011, each of which can be found on Talison's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. While Talison considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect and actual results may vary.
Although Talison has attempted to identify statements containing important factors that could cause actual actions, event or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended. Forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date of this press release based on the opinions and estimates of management on the date statements containing such forward-looking information are made. Except as required by law, Talison disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, estimates or opinions, future events or results or otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
1 Quarter on Quarter refers to First Quarter Fiscal Year 2012 as compared to First Quarter Fiscal Year 2011


2 The term "EBITDA" is a non-IFRS financial measure. For further information and a reconciliation of EBITDA to its IFRS-compliant income statement, refer to "Non-IFRS Performance Measures" in Management's Discussion and Analysis of the financial condition and results of operations of Talison Lithium Limited as at September 30, 2011 and for the three months ended September 30, 2011 (which can be found on Talison's SEDAR profile at http://www.sedar.com/).


3 This amount mainly represents unrealized losses on the revaluation of Talison's US$hedge book and US$senior debt to the spot A$/US$exchange rate at September 30, 2011. The spot A$/US$exchange rate reduced from 1.07 at June 30, 2011 to 0.97 at September 30, 2011 resulting in the unrealized revaluation loss. The spot A$/US$exchange rate at November 10, 2011 has recovered to 1.02 which results in a portion of the unrealized revaluation loss being reversed at that date.

Contact Information


Talison Lithium Limited
Gary Dvorchak, CFA
+1 (310) 954-1123
gary.dvorchak@icrinc.com





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