SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Amendment No. 1
For the quarterly period ended September 30, 2011
For the transition period from __________ to __________
Commission File Number 000-54303
LI3 ENERGY, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Av. Pardo y Aliaga 699 Of. 802
San Isidro, Lima, Peru
(Address of principal executive offices)
+ (51) 1-212-1880
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15 (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).
Yes ¨ No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Yes ¨ No x
As of November 11, 2011, there were 322,209,220 shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding.
LI3 ENERGY, INC.
This Amendment No. 1 on Form 10-Q/A of Li3 Energy, Inc. amends our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, initially filed with the Securities Exchange Commission on November 14, 2011 (the “Original Filing”).
This Amendment No. 2 is being filed solely to disclose, under Item 4 of Part I, our management’s evaluation of whether our disclosure controls and procedures are effective or not.
Except as set forth above, the Original Filing has not been amended, updated or otherwise modified. This Amendment No. 1 does not reflect events occurring after November 14, 2011, the date of the Original Filing, or modify or update those disclosures that may have been affected by subsequent events.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this Report including, without limitation, statements in this Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations section of this Report, regarding our financial condition, estimated working capital, business strategy, the plans and objectives of our management for future operations and those statements preceded by, followed by or that otherwise include the words “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “estimates,” “projects,” “target,” “goal,” “plans,” “objective,” “should” or similar expressions or variations on such expressions are forward-looking statements. We can give no assurances that the assumptions upon which the forward-looking statements are based will prove to be correct. Because forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. There are a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, our ability to identify appropriate corporate acquisition and/or joint venture opportunities in the lithium mining sector, our ability to establish technical and managerial infrastructure, our ability to raise the required capital to take advantage of and successfully participate in such opportunities, and future economic conditions, political stability and lithium prices. Descriptions of some of the risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those described by the forward-looking statements in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q appear in the section captioned “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).
Except as otherwise required by the federal securities laws, we disclaim any obligations or undertaking to publicly release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained in this Report to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
PART I – FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Item 1. Financial Statements
LI3 ENERGY, INC.
(An Exploration Stage Company)
Consolidated Balance Sheets
See accompanying notes to unaudited consolidated financial statements
LI3 ENERGY, INC.
(An Exploration Stage Company)
Consolidated Statements of Operations
See accompanying notes to unaudited consolidated financial statements
LI3 ENERGY, INC.
(An Exploration Stage Company)
Consolidated Statement of Changes in Stockholders’ Equity (Deficit)
From June 24, 2005 (Inception) through September 30, 2011
LI3 ENERGY, INC.
(An Exploration Stage Company)
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flow
LI3 ENERGY, INC.
(An Exploration Stage Company)
Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements
For the quarterly period ended September 30, 2011
NOTE 1. NATURE OF BUSINESS AND BASIS OF PRESENTATION
Li3 Energy, Inc. (“Li3 Energy” or the “Company”) was incorporated under the laws of the State of Nevada on June 24, 2005. Initially, the Company’s principal products were soy-blend wax candles (the “Legacy Business”). In 2009, the Company redirected its business focus and strategy toward identifying and pursuing business opportunities in lithium and industrial minerals mining in North and South America, but has more recently focused solely on South America.
On October 19, 2009, the Company filed an amendment to its articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State of the State of Nevada, pursuant to which it changed its name from NanoDynamics Holdings, Inc., to Li3 Energy, Inc., to reflect the Company’s plans to focus its business strategy on the energy sector and related lithium mining opportunities in North and South America.
The Company’s five subsidiaries include; Li3 Energy Peru SRL (“Li3 Peru”), a wholly owned subsidiary in Peru, formed to explore mining opportunities in Peru and in South America; Minera Li Energy SPA (“Minera Li”), a wholly owned subsidiary in Chile; Alfredo Holdings, Ltd. (“Alfredo”), an exempted limited company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands; Pacific Road Mining Chile, SA, a Chilean corporation (“PRMC”), which is a subsidiary of Alfredo; and Noto Energy S.A. (“Noto”), an Argentinean corporation. Also, in May 2011, Minera Li acquired 60% ownership of Sociedades Legales Mineras Litio 1 a 6 de la Sierra Hoyada de Maricunga, a group of six private companies (the “Maricunga Companies”).
During March 2011, the Company amended its Articles of Incorporation to provide for the issuance of 1,000,000,000 shares of capital stock (increased from 300,000,000 shares of capital stock), of which 990,000,000 are shares of common stock, par value $0.001 per share, and 10,000,000 are undesignated preferred stock, par value $0.001 per share.
The accompanying unaudited interim consolidated financial statements of Li3 Energy, Inc. have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and should be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements and notes thereto contained in the Company’s latest Annual Report filed with the SEC on Form 10-K. In the opinion of management, all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments, necessary for a fair presentation of financial position and the results of operations for the interim periods presented have been reflected herein. The results of operations for interim periods are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the full year. Notes to the financial statements which would substantially duplicate the disclosure contained in the audited financial statements for the most recent fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, as reported in Form 10-K, have been omitted.
NOTE 2. SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
a. Principles of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company, its wholly owned subsidiaries, Li3 Peru, Alfredo, PRMC, Noto, and Minera Li which holds the six majority owned subsidiaries consisting of the Maricunga Companies. All intercompany amounts have been eliminated in consolidation.
b. Exploration Stage Company
The Company is in the exploration stage in accordance with SEC guidance and Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic No. 915 - Development Stage Entities. Its activities to date have been limited to capital formation, organization, and development of its business, including acquisitions of mineral rights.
c. Cash and Cash Equivalents
The Company considers all highly liquid investments purchased with an original maturity of three months or less to be cash equivalents. The Company had $0 cash equivalents at September 30, 2011 and June 30, 2011, respectively. The Company has not experienced any losses on its deposits of cash and cash equivalents.
d. Mineral Exploration and Development Costs
All exploration expenditures are expensed as incurred. Costs of acquisition and option costs of mineral rights are capitalized upon acquisition. Mine development costs incurred to develop new ore deposits, to expand the capacity of mines, or to develop mine areas substantially in advance of current production are also capitalized once proven and probable reserves exist and the property is determined to be a commercially mineable property. Costs incurred to maintain current production or to maintain assets on a standby basis are charged to operations. If the Company does not continue with exploration after the completion of the feasibility study, the cost of mineral rights will be expensed at that time. Costs of abandoned projects are charged to mining costs, including related property and equipment costs. To determine if capitalized costs are in excess of their recoverable amount, periodic evaluation of the carrying value of capitalized costs and any related property and equipment costs are performed based upon expected future cash flows and/or estimated salvage value in accordance with ASC 360-10-35-15, Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets. As of September 30, 2011, management evaluated our capitalized mineral rights for impairment and determined no impairment was required.
e. Earnings (Loss) per Share
The Company accounts for earnings (loss) per share in accordance with FASB ASC Topic No. 260 – 10, which specifies the computation, presentation and disclosure requirements for earnings (loss) per share for entities with publicly held common stock and requires the presentation of basic earnings (loss) per share and diluted earnings (loss) per share.
Basic net loss per share amounts are computed by dividing the net loss by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding over the reporting period. In periods in which the Company reports a net loss, dilutive securities are excluded from the calculation as the effect would be anti-dilutive. The effects of the 15.625 for 1 forward stock split on October 19, 2009 have been reflected in the Company’s calculation of basic and diluted net loss per share.
Following is a reconciliation of basic earnings per share (“EPS”) and diluted EPS:
The following table sets forth the schedule of anti-dilutive securities excluded from computation of diluted EPS:
f. Use of Estimates and Assumptions
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ materially from those estimates. Management has made significant estimates related to the fair value of the warrant derivative liability, accrued expenses and contingencies.
g. Income Taxes
Income taxes are provided in accordance with FASB ASC Topic No. 740. A deferred tax asset or liability is recorded for all temporary differences between financial and tax reporting and for net operating loss carry-forwards. Deferred tax expense (benefit) results from the net change during the year of deferred tax assets and liabilities.
Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance when, in the opinion of management, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are adjusted for the effects of changes in tax laws and rates on the date of enactment. As of September 30, 2011 and June 30, 2011, we have established a valuation allowance to fully reserve our net deferred tax assets.
For financial statement purposes, we recognize the impact of an uncertain income tax position on the income tax return at the largest amount that is more-likely-than-not to be sustained upon audit by the relevant taxing authority. An uncertain income tax position will not be recognized if it has less than a 50% likelihood of being sustained.
Our practice is to recognize interest and/or penalties related to income tax matters in income tax expense. We did not have any uncertain income tax positions or accrued interest or penalties included in our consolidated balance sheets at September 30, 2011 or June 30, 2011, and did not recognize any interest and/or penalties in our consolidated statements of operations during the three months ended September 30, 2011 or 2010, respectively.
h. Subsequent Events
We evaluated all subsequent events from September 30, 2011 through the date of the issuance of these consolidated financial statements.
i. Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Recently issued or adopted accounting pronouncements are not expected to, or did not have, a material impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Certain accounts in the prior period were reclassified to conform with the current period financial statement presentation.
NOTE 3. GOING CONCERN
The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern. The Company currently has no sources of recurring revenue and has generated net losses of $31,621,794 and negative cash flows from operations of $7,198,229 during the period from June 24, 2005 (inception) through September 30, 2011.
In the course of its development activities, the Company has sustained and continues to sustain losses. The Company cannot predict if and when it may generate profits. In the event the Company identifies commercial reserves of lithium or other minerals, it will require substantial additional capital to develop those reserves. The Company expects to finance its operations primarily through future financings. However, there exists substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern because there is no assurance that it will be able to obtain such capital, through equity or debt financing, or any combination thereof, on satisfactory terms or at all. Additionally, no assurance can be given that any such financing, if obtained, will be adequate to meet the Company’s ultimate capital needs and to support its growth. If adequate capital cannot be obtained on a timely basis and on satisfactory terms, then the Company’s operations would be materially negatively impacted.
The Company’s ability to complete additional offerings is dependent on the state of the debt and/or equity markets at the time of any proposed offering, and such market’s reception of the Company and the offering terms. In addition, the Company’s ability to complete an offering may be dependent on the status of its exploration activities, which cannot be predicted. There is no assurance that capital in any form would be available to the Company, and if available, on terms and conditions that are acceptable.
These conditions raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The Company’s continuation as a going concern is dependent on its ability to meet its obligations, to obtain additional financing as may be required until such time as it can generate sources of recurring revenues and to ultimately attain profitability. The consolidated financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.
NOTE 4. MINERAL RIGHTS
On November 30, and December 1, 2010, the Company signed non-binding exclusive letters of intent with the shareholders (the “Maricunga Sellers”) of Sociedades Legales Mineras Litio 1 a 6 de la Sierra Hoyada de Maricunga, a group of six private companies (the “Maricunga Companies”), to acquire a percentage of the Maricunga Companies, which collectively own the Maricunga Project (“Maricunga”). During December 2010, the Company paid $250,000 to the Maricunga Sellers in connection with signing the non-binding letters of intent which provided the Company with additional time to perform its due diligence and prepare definitive purchase agreements. The Maricunga property is undeveloped and covers an area of approximately 3,553 acres (1,438 hectares), comprising six concessions, each held by a separate legal entity, and is located in the northeast section of the Salar de Maricunga in Region III of Atacama in northern Chile. Each concession grants the owner the right to explore for mineral deposits at the Maricunga property.
On May 20, 2011, the Company and the Maricunga Sellers signed the Framework Contract of Mining Project Development and Buying and Selling of Shares of Sociedades Legales Mineras Litio 1 a 6 de la Sierra Hoyada de Maricunga (the “Acquisition Agreement”), whereby the Company, through its Chilean subsidiary, Minera Li, acquired from the Maricunga Sellers a 60% interest in each of the Maricunga Companies. The purchase price, including amounts paid to agents, was $6,370,000 in cash and 127,500,000 restricted shares of common stock of the Company (the “Maricunga Purchase Price Shares”) which had a fair value of $31,875,000 based on the market price on the date of issuance. The $6,370,000 in cash includes the $250,000 deposit paid in December 2010 and $120,000 due to agents. Pursuant to the Acquisition Agreement, closing occurred on June 2, 2011, the date by which the Maricunga Sellers and agents received their shares of common stock (which were registered in Chile) and the remaining $6,000,000 of cash. The agents received $120,000 at closing.
The assets of the Maricunga Companies consist solely of undeveloped mineral rights and were recorded as an asset purchase. The Company consolidated Sociedades Legales Mineras Litio 1 a 6 de la Sierra Hoyada de Maricunga and recorded the assets at 100% based on purchase price of $6,370,000 in cash and 127,500,000 restricted shares of common stock which had a fair value of $31,875,000. The Company recorded a non-controlling interest for the 40% of the Maricunga Companies that were not acquired, or $25,496,000.
We have agreed to register under the Securities Act one-half of the 127,500,000 Maricunga Purchase Price Shares on a “best efforts” basis by January 31, 2012 and the remainder by October 31, 2012. In the event that the SEC limits the number of shares that may be sold pursuant to the registration statement, we may remove from the registration statement such number of shares as specified by the SEC, and may file subsequent registration statements covering the resale of additional shares of such common stock. Accordingly, we are not obligated to pay any penalties in the event we are unable to register the shares, or obtain or maintain an effective registration statement related to such shares.
The Company estimates that capital expenditures for this project will be approximately $170 million.
The Company will evaluate any future impairment based on consideration of economic and operational feasibility and a continuing assessment of its rights to exploit minerals under Chilean laws and regulations.
Pursuant to an Assignment Agreement dated March 12, 2010 (the “Assignment Agreement”), the Company purchased all of Puna Lithium Corporation’s (“Puna”) interests in and rights for the acquisition of Noto Energy S.A. (”Noto”) under a letter of intent dated November 23, 2009, as amended (the “Letter of Intent”), entered into by and among Puna, Lacus Minerals S.A., and the shareholders of Noto Energy S.A. (“Noto Shareholders”), an Argentinian corporation.
On March 12, 2010, the Company entered into a Share Purchase Agreement with the Noto Shareholders (the “Share Purchase Agreement”) for the acquisition of one hundred percent (100%) of the issued and outstanding shares of Noto, which beneficially owns a one hundred percent (100%) undeveloped mineral interest in over 2,995 acres (1,212 hectares) situated on brine salars in Argentina, known as Cauchari (the “Noto Properties”).
Under the Share Purchase Agreement, the Company acquired upon closing on July 30, 2010, one hundred percent (100%) of the issued and outstanding shares of Noto, for $300,000 in cash, of which $200,000 was paid during the year ending June 30, 2010, and $100,000 was paid on July 30, 2010 when the transaction closed. Noto’s only asset is the mineral interest in the Noto Properties. Accordingly, the Company recorded the acquisition as an asset purchase. The Company is currently developing plans to pursue exploration and/or development of the Noto Properties.
NOTE 5. PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT
Property and equipment consists of the following:
Depreciation expense for the three-month periods ending September 30, 2011 and 2010 was $1,287, and $975, respectively.
NOTE 6. RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
Antonio Ortúzar, who served as a director of the Company from February 18, 2010, to October 25, 2010, is a Partner in a law firm that the Company has engaged to perform certain legal services. The Company pays for such legal services at the standard rates that the firm charges its unrelated clients. For the three months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010, the Company incurred $0 and $66,000 of legal fees to the law firm, respectively.
The Company is party to an employment services agreement between MIZ Comercializadora, S de R.L. (“MIZ”) and the Company in which Tom Currin (a partial owner of MIZ) serves as Chief Operating Officer of the Company.
Pursuant to the Chief Operating Officer’s Employment Services Agreement, the Company granted to MIZ an award under the 2009 Plan pursuant to which the Company shall issue 2,500,000 restricted shares of its common stock (the “Restricted Stock”). The shares of Restricted Stock vest in installments of between 300,000 and 1,000,000 shares upon the achievement of certain milestones set forth in the Employment Services Agreement, subject to acceleration upon a change of control or a termination of Mr. Currin’s employment by the Company for good reason (as defined in the Employment Services Agreement) or by the Company for any reason other than for cause (as defined in the Employment Services Agreement). If his employment is terminated by the Company for cause as defined in the Employment Services Agreement, or by Mr. Currin for any reason other than good reason, then all unvested Restricted Stock will immediately expire.
The Company determined the grant date of the 2,500,000 shares was August 11, 2010. The stock price on the grant date was $0.38 per share. Total compensation expense which may be recognized in connection with these restricted shares is $950,000 if all of the shares vest. A milestone was achieved in January 2011, resulting in the vesting of 500,000 shares of common stock and the Company recorded $190,000 of stock-based compensation expense during the year ended June 30, 2011 based on a vesting service period of approximately five months beginning on the grant date. In February 2011, the Company issued the 500,000 fully vested shares of Restricted Stock to MIZ. The remaining 2,000,000 shares contain various vesting requirements that the Company estimates will be achieved between November 2011 and June 2013. During the three months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010, the Company recorded $122,373 and $53,824 of stock compensation expense for the shares based on these estimated vesting dates.
The Company also incurred $36,774 and $28,740 of stock-based compensation during the three months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010, respectively related to stock options granted to MIZ. See Note 10.
MIZ was also paid $50,000 and $0 in cash for compensation during the three months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010, respectively. At September 30, 2011 and June 30, 2011, the Company has $100,000 of accrued bonus to MIZ recorded in payable to related parties in the consolidated balance sheets.
R&M Global Advisors
The Company is party to an employment services agreement between R&M Global Advisors, LLC. (“R&M Global Advisors”) and the Company in which Eric Marin (a partial owner of R&M Global Advisors) serves as interim Chief Financial Officer of the Company.
R&M Global Advisors was paid $22,500 and $0 in cash for compensation during the three months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010, respectively.
NOTE 7. NOTES PAYABLE
The Company issued a $50,000 unsecured Promissory Note dated June 5, 2008 (the ”Note”) to Milestone Enhanced Fund Ltd. (“Milestone”) in connection with Milestone’s $50,000 working capital loan to the Company, and the terms and conditions of such Note allow for prepayment of the principal and accrued interest any time without penalty. The interest rate is 8% per annum and the maturity date was June 5, 2010. The total interest accrued at September 30, 2011 and June 30, 2011 is $13,306 and $12,298, respectively. This Note is in default as of September 30, 2011 and remains payable to Milestone.
The Company issued an unsecured Convertible Promissory Note (the “Convertible Note”) dated April 30, 2009, bearing an interest rate of 8.25% per annum, in the amount of $45,000, due on November 8, 2010 to Milestone. The Convertible Note provides that the principal and interest balance due on the Convertible Note are convertible at Milestone’s option pursuant to terms to be mutually agreed upon by the Company and Milestone in writing at a later date. The Company and Milestone have not yet negotiated such conversion terms. The total interest accrued on the Convertible Note at September 30, 2011 and June 30, 2011 is $8,901 and $7,965, respectively. This Note is in default as of September 30, 2011 and remains payable to Milestone.
NOTE 8. CREDIT AGREEMENT
On May 2, 2011, the Company entered into and simultaneously closed a Credit Agreement for a $1.5 million bridge loan with three private institutional investors. Under the Credit Agreement, the Company issued to each lender a zero-coupon original issue discount note due February 2, 2012. The notes were convertible into shares of the Company’s common stock at the lender’s option at a price of $0.40 per share. The aggregate face amount of the notes at the February 2, 2012 maturity would be $1,677,438. The Company may prepay the notes at its option (together with accrued original issue discount), and was required to prepay them (together with accrued original issue discount) first out of the net proceeds of any future capital raising transactions by the Company.
The Company also agreed to issue to the lenders warrants to purchase an aggregate of 1,500,000 shares of common stock, exercisable for five years at an initial exercise price of $0.50 per share (the “Lender Warrants”). The Lender Warrants contain provisions that protect holders from future issuances of the Company’s common stock at prices below such warrants’ respective exercise prices and these provisions could result in modification of the warrants exercise price based on a variable that is not an input to the fair value of a “fixed-for-fixed” option as defined under FASB ASC Topic No. 815 – 40. The fair values of the Lender Warrants were recognized as derivative warrant instruments at issuance and are measured at fair value at each reporting period. The Company determined the fair value of the warrants was $1,132,000 at the issuance date. This amount was recorded as a debt discount and is amortized to interest expense over the term of the debentures.
The convertible debentures were analyzed for a beneficial conversion feature at which time it was concluded that a beneficial conversion feature existed. The beneficial conversion feature was measured using the commitment-date stock price and was determined to be $368,000. This amount was recorded as a debt discount and is amortized to interest expense over the term of the debentures.
The Company agreed to pay finder’s fees consisting of cash in the amount of 5% of the aggregate issue price of the notes, or $75,000 in total, and warrants to purchase an aggregate of 75,000 shares of common stock, exercisable for five years at an initial exercise price of $0.40 per share (the “Arranger Warrants”). The Arranger Warrants contain provisions that protect holders from future issuances of the Company’s common stock at prices below such warrants’ respective exercise prices and these provisions could result in modification of the warrants exercise price based on a variable that is not an input to the fair value of a “fixed-for-fixed” option as defined under FASB ASC Topic No. 815 – 40. The fair value of the Arranger Warrants was recognized as derivative warrant instruments at issuance and is measured at fair value at each reporting period. The Company determined the fair value of the Arranger Warrants at the issuance date was $57,750, which was recorded as deferred financing costs. The deferred financing costs of $132,750 will be amortized over the life of the debt on a straight-line basis which approximates the effective interest method.
On August 25, 2011, the Company entered into an Amendment and Waiver Agreement with the holders of the zero-coupon bridge notes (the “Waiver Agreement”). Pursuant to the Waiver Agreement, effective upon the closing of POSCAN’s initial $8 million investment under the SPA (see Note 10), the zero-coupon bridge notes maturity date was extended to June 30, 2012, and the Company is not required to make any prepayment out of the proceeds of the SPA. As the POSCAN closing occurred on September 14, 2011, the Waiver Agreement was deemed effective on that date. The Waiver Agreement does not alter the principal amount of the zero-coupon bridge notes, however it provides that such notes will accrue interest at a rate of 15% per annum from February 2, 2012, until June 30, 2012. The Waiver Agreement also reduces the conversion price of the $1.5 million zero-coupon bridge notes from $0.40 to $0.12 per share. In connection with the Waiver Agreement, the Company agreed to pay an arranger a cash fee of $30,000.
The Company concluded that the Waiver Agreement resulted in a substantial modification of terms of the debt because the fair value of the embedded conversion feature increased by more than 10% as a result of the decrease in the conversion price from $0.40 per share to $0.12 per share. Accordingly, the Company recognized the amendment as an extinguishment of debt and recorded a loss on debt extinguishment. The Company determined that the fair value of the Credit Agreement approximated the initial $1.5 million face value of the notes plus accrued interest of $84,192 due to the short-term nature of the notes. As a result, the Company recorded a loss on debt extinguishment of $841,752, consisting of $745,377, the difference between the carrying value of the notes and the estimated fair value of the post-modification notes, $66,375 of unamortized deferred financing costs and $30,000 for the Waiver Agreement arranger fee. See summary below.
The new convertible debentures were analyzed for a beneficial conversion feature after the debt modification at which time it was concluded that a beneficial conversion feature existed. The beneficial conversion feature was measured using the commitment-date stock price and was determined to be $330,019. This amount was recorded as a debt discount and is amortized to interest expense over the term of the debentures. See detail summary below for carrying value of debt.
NOTE 9. DERIVATIVE LIABILITIES
The Company has determined that certain warrants the Company has issued contain provisions that protect holders from future issuances of the Company’s common stock at prices below such warrants’ respective exercise prices and these provisions could result in modification of the warrants exercise price based on a variable that is not an input to the fair value of a “fixed-for-fixed” option as defined under FASB ASC Topic No. 815 – 40.
The warrants (including any Agent warrants) issued in connection with the 2009 Unit Offering, the 2010 Unit Offerings, the Incentive warrants, the 2011 Unit Offering warrants, the Lender Warrants, the Warrants issued for advisory services, the Arranger Warrants and the POSCAN warrants contain anti-dilution provisions that provide for a reduction in the exercise price of such warrants in the event that future common stock (or securities convertible into or exercisable for common stock) is issued (or becomes contractually issuable) at a price per share (a “Lower Price”) that is less than the exercise price of such warrant at the relevant time. The amount of any such adjustment is determined in accordance with the provisions of the relevant warrant agreement and depends upon the number of shares of common stock issued (or deemed issued) at the Lower Price and the extent to which the Lower Price is less than the exercise price of the warrant at the relevant time. In addition, the number of shares issuable upon exercise of the 2010 Unit Offering Warrants, the Incentive warrants and all warrants issued to agents under both the 2009 Unit Offering, and the 2010 Unit Offerings will be increased inversely proportional to any decrease in the exercise price, thus preserving the aggregate exercise price of the warrants both before and after any such adjustment.
The fair values of the warrants issued in the 2009 Unit Offering, the 2010 Unit Offerings, the Incentive warrants, the 2011 Unit Offering, the Lender Warrants, the Arranger warrants, the warrants issued for advisory services and the POSCAN Warrants were recognized as derivative warrant instruments at issuance or when they become issuable and are measured at fair value at each reporting period. The Company determined the fair values of these warrants using a modified lattice valuation model.
Activity for derivative warrant instruments during the three months ended September 30, 2011 was as follows:
Activity for derivative warrant instruments during the three months ended September 30, 2010 was as follows:
During the three months ended September 30, 2011, 4,000,000 warrants were exercised for aggregate proceeds of $200,000. The Company reduced the derivative liability by $561,965 based on the fair value of the warrants on the date of exercise and increased additional paid-in capital by the same amount.
The following is a summary of the assumptions used in the modified lattice valuation model as of the initial valuations of the derivative warrant instruments issued during the three months ended September 30, 2011, and 2010, respectively and as of September 30, 2011 and 2010, respectively:
NOTE 10. STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Common Stock issuable for services
On June 27, 2011, the Company granted its Chief Executive Officer an award of 700,000 shares of the Company’s common stock which vests in 1/3 increments on each of January 15, 2012, January 15, 2013 and January 15, 2014. The value of the issuable shares was determined based on the $0.22 closing price of the common stock on the measurement date, and totaled $154,000. The Company will record stock compensation expense over the 3 year service period. During the three months ended September 30, 2011, the Company recorded $36,641 of stock compensation in connection with this agreement. No shares have been issued as of September 30, 2011.
Common Stock sales
July 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011
On August 24, 2011, we entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement (the “SPA”) and an Investor Rights Agreement (the “IRA”) with POSCO Canada Ltd. (“POSCAN”), a wholly owned subsidiary of POSCO ( a Korean company), (together, the “POSCAN Agreements”), pursuant to which on September 14, 2011, POSCAN purchased 38,095,300 Units for $0.21 per Unit or $8,000,013 ($7,314,069 net after offering expenses), with each “Unit” consisting of one share of our common stock and a three-year warrant (“POSCAN Warrants”) to purchase one share of our common stock at an exercise price of $0.40 per share. A total of $3,779,978 of the proceeds were allocated to the value of the related POSCAN Warrants and recorded as derivative liabilities-warrant instruments (See Note 9). The Company incurred finders’ fees equal to 7% of the gross proceeds received from the SPA. At September 30, 2011, the Company has paid $250,000 of the fees and has $310,000 of Finders’ fees payable recorded in the consolidated balance sheet.
POSCAN has committed to purchase an additional 47,619,000 Units at the same $0.21 price per Unit (for an aggregate additional purchase price of approximately $10 million) upon satisfaction of certain conditions, including: (i) completion of an updated Measured and Indicated Resource Report prepared in compliance with Canadian National Instrument (“NI”) 43-101 standards that concludes that our Maricunga property meets certain technical requirements and that proceeding to the feasibility study phase for the Maricunga project is warranted; (ii) completion of a work program agreed to by us and POSCAN; and (iii) having the necessary permits and approvals in place for building and operating a brine test facility on the Maricunga property. The SPA provides that we are to use the proceeds from such investments exclusively for activities related to the development of the Maricunga project, pursuant to budgets mutually agreeable to us and POSCAN.
The SPA includes provisions for POSCAN to purchase brine from the Maricunga property and test it at POSCAN’s test facility in Korea. In addition, the SPA provides that we and POSCAN will discuss and evaluate the development, financing and construction of a brine testing facility on the Maricunga property, and that if such facility is built, we would (i) supply the test facility with brine and other materials and utilities and (ii) assist POSCAN in obtaining any rights, licenses and permits required to build and operate such facility.
The securities purchased by POSCAN will be restricted and may not be sold (subject to customary exceptions) until the earlier of nine months from their issuance or November 20, 2012. Pursuant to the IRA, we have granted POSCAN the right to demand registration of the common stock included in the Units, and issuable upon exercise of the warrants included in the Units, commencing 12 months after the date of issuance of the Units and ending five years after the date of the IRA. Our obligation to register any such shares shall terminate once they may be sold without registration in any 30 day period pursuant to Rule 144 under the Securities Act. Upon a registration demand made by POSCAN pursuant to the IRA, we must file a registration statement covering the shares within 75 calendar days of such demand, and use our best efforts to have it declared effective within 120 calendar days of filing. If we do not meet these deadlines, we must pay liquidated damages of 2% of the purchase price of the securities per month until such failures are cured (up to an aggregate maximum of 10%). POSCAN will also have “piggy-back” registration rights with respect to such shares.
The IRA provides that we will appoint a director nominated by POSCAN to our Board of Directors, and will continue to nominate a POSCAN-designee at each annual meeting for as long as POSCAN owns not less than 10% of the issued and outstanding shares of our common stock. So long as POSCAN holds any shares of our common stock (subject to customary exceptions), we shall not issue any new securities to any person unless we have also offered to POSCAN the right to purchase its pro rata share of such securities on the same terms and conditions as are offered, as to maintain its then percentage interest in our outstanding capital. The IRA also provides that, until the earlier of (i) POSCAN owning less than 10% of our issued and outstanding common stock and (ii) our aggregate market capitalization exceeding $250 million, we may not undertake certain actions without the approval of POSCAN (which approval may be evidenced by the affirmative vote or consent of POSCAN’s director nominee), including: a liquidation, merger or reorganization; a sale of all or substantially all of our assets; incurring indebtedness in excess of $1,000,000 (subject to certain exceptions); create or take any action that results in our holding the capital stock of any subsidiary that is not wholly owned (with certain exceptions); transfer or license our proprietary technology to a third party; substantially change the scope of our business; or amend or waive any non-competition or non-solicitation provision applicable to our Chief Executive Officer or Chief Operating Officer.
POSCO (with its subsidiaries) is a diversified company, with operations in energy, chemicals and materials and is one of the largest steel manufacturers in the world. There can be no assurance that any final agreement will be reached with POSCAN with respect to a pilot plant, a commercial plant, any further investment by POSCAN, any purchase by POSCAN of our production, or otherwise.
The table below reflects the allocation of the gross proceeds from the POSCAN Offering during the three months ended September 30, 2011:
Stock Option Awards
A Director resigned on September 14, 2011, and forfeited 333,333 stock options. Accordingly, only 166,667 of his options remain outstanding and shall expire on December 14, 2011.
Summary of stock option activity is presented in the table below:
During the three months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010, the Company recognized stock-based compensation expense of $45,731 and $53,032, respectively related to stock options (of which $36,774 and $28,740 was related party for the three months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010, respectively – See Note 6). As of September 30, 2011, there was approximately $124,350 of total unrecognized compensation cost related to non-vested stock options which is expected to be recognized ratably over a weighted-average period of approximately 1.83 years.
Summary information regarding common stock warrants issued and outstanding as of September 30, 2011 is as follows:
Warrants outstanding as of September 30, 2011
The intrinsic value of warrants outstanding at September 30, 2011 was $99,200.
NOTE 11. FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENTS
As defined in FASB ASC Topic No. 820 – 10, fair value is the price that would be received upon the sale of an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. FASB ASC Topic No. 820 – 10 requires disclosure that establishes a framework for measuring fair value and expands disclosure about fair value measurements. The statement requires fair value measurements be classified and disclosed in one of the following categories:
As required by FASB ASC Topic No. 820 – 10, financial assets and liabilities are classified based on the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value measurement. The Company’s assessment of the significance of a particular input to the fair value measurement requires judgment, and may affect the valuation of the fair value of assets and liabilities and their placement within the fair value hierarchy levels. The estimated fair value of the derivative warrant instruments was calculated using a modified lattice valuation model.
Fair Value on a Recurring Basis
The following table sets forth, by level within the fair value hierarchy, the Company’s financial assets and liabilities that were accounted for at fair value on a recurring basis as of September 30, 2011:
The following table sets forth, by level within the fair value hierarchy, the Company’s financial assets and liabilities that were accounted for at fair value on a recurring basis as of June 30, 2011:
The following table sets forth a reconciliation of changes in the fair value of financial assets and liabilities classified as level 3 in the fair value hierarchy: