Unveils Bioleum™ Breakthrough; A Carbon Neutral Crude Oil Capable of Replacing Fossil Crude
VIRGINIA CITY, NEVADA, MARCH 29, 2022 – Comstock Mining Inc. (NYSE: LODE) (“Comstock” and the “Company”) today announced its 2021 results, summary of transactions completed in 2021, and our new business outlook.
Selected Strategic Highlights
- Approved a new strategy with a mission of enabling systemic decarbonization and a vision of a net zero carbon world.
- Acquired Comstock Innovations, formerly Plain Sight Innovations, with a portfolio of intellectual property that contributes to global decarbonization by efficiently converting massive supplies of unused and under-utilized woody-biomass resources into cellulosic ethanol, renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and other drop-in fuels.
- Acquired LINICO Corporation and a developing portfolio of technologies that contribute to global decarbonization by efficiently converting a diverse array of lithium-ion batteries (“LIBs”) into electrification products, including lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, copper, and cathode active materials (“CAMs”).
- Acquired Comstock Engineering, formerly Renewable Process Solutions, whose principals built twenty six biofuel refineries in the last fifteen years and managed multiple industrial-scale projects from construction to commissioning.
- Established and integrated new leadership, including Kevin Kreisler, President and Chief Financial Officer, William McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer, David Winsness, Chief Technology Officer, and Rahul Bobbili, Chief Engineer.
- Advanced Cellulosic Technology. Our cellulosic technologies can convert woody biomass into renewable fuels at extraordinary yields, including cellulosic ethanol and Bioleum™ – a remarkable new form of carbon neutral crude oil capable of replacing fossil crude for use in producing renewable diesel, aviation, and other drop-in fuels.
- Advanced Electrification Technology. Our electrification technologies crush, separate, and condition every class of lithium-ion battery (“LIB”) feedstock together with their host devices and other electrification residues for unrivaled throughput and flexibility, and then – in contrast to any known competing process, immediately extract lithium to produce unique “black mass” metal powders that are cleaner and far more concentrated than competing products.
- Advanced Monetizing Non-Strategic Assets. Our announced transactions for certain mineral and other properties now total over $25 million, including expected 2022 proceeds from Tonogold, Sierra Springs and others.
Selected Financial Results
- Total assets nearly tripled to $126,954,632 during 2021, as compared to $43,123,562, at December 31, 2020. Net equity also nearly tripled to $92,970,522 during 2021, as compared to $31,779,206 at December 31, 2020.
- Operating loss of $6,405,921 as compared to an operating loss of $5,474,261 for 2020, primarily resulting from increased administrative expense from acquisitions, increased personnel, and higher research and development costs.
- Full year 2021 net loss of $24,583,620 and $(0.49) per share, as compared to full year 2020 net income of $14,931,970 and $0.49 per share. The results in each year were driven by non-routine transactions, including goodwill impairments, changes in fair values of derivatives, and gains on sales of non-strategic assets.
- Debt was $4,486,256 million on December 31, 2021, representing unsecured promissory notes.
- Cash and equivalents were $5,912,188 on December 31, 2021.
- Outstanding common shares were 67,707,832 at March 28, 2022, and 71,207,832 at December 31, 2021.
“Our operating results reflect our investments in technology, people, and the increased research and development focus during the year, as we integrated the transactions necessary to build the foundation for growth,” said Corrado De Gasperis, Comstock’s executive chairman and chief executive officer. “Our investments during the year are already yielding breakthrough advancements in technology, and our team is making remarkable progress.”
Enabling Systemic Decarbonization – Cellulosic Fuels
The Company previously announced its plans to build, own, and operate a fleet of advanced carbon neutral extraction and refining facilities, with the goal of generating over $16 billion in revenue on an annualized basis by 2030. The Company has now formed a renewable fuels subsidiary, Comstock Fuels, that will efficiently convert wasted, unused, widely available, and rapidly replenishable woody biomass into advanced cellulosic fuels, unlocking vast quantities of historically underutilized feedstocks. These fuels work in existing infrastructure, depots, fueling stations, vehicles, and anything that burns fossil fuels. Just one of our biorefineries can produce over 100 million gallons of biofuel per year, including over 70 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol and 30 million gallons of renewable diesel from just 1 million metric tons of woody biomass per year.
“The scale of the financial and environmental impact that we can enable with our technologies is staggering,” continued De Gasperis. “There isn’t a technology on Earth that can absorb carbon from the atmosphere as quickly as trees, or that can offset as much fossil emissions from the 1.5 billion cars and trucks on today’s roads faster than by burning renewable fuels instead of fossil fuels. In this context, we have struck massive untapped supplies of carbon neutral oil that are hidden in plain sight.”
Enabling Systemic Decarbonization – Electrification Products
Electrification and continued advancements in energy storage are vitally necessary to reduce reliance on fossil fuels while shifting to and increasing use of renewable fuels. LiNiCo holds the rights to a portfolio of innovative processes that efficiently crush and separate LIBs, extract lithium, nickel, cobalt, and graphite, and reuse the recovered metals to produce 99% pure CAMs. These technologies give LiNiCo and its existing 137,000 square foot battery metal recycling facility differentiating competitive advantages, including the ability to process upwards of 100,000 tons of LIBs per year into an array of new products.
According to International Energy Agency (“IEA”), there were more than 10 million electric vehicles (“EVs”) on the road in 2020, with new EV registrations increasing by 41% over 2019 and another 140% during the first quarter of 2021. Meeting the increased EV demand is estimated to require about five times more lithium carbonate equivalent (“LCE”) than the entire lithium mining industry produces today. The world is clearly focused on further accelerating electrification to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, creating and driving this extraordinary demand for lithium, as well as nickel, cobalt, and other critical electrification resources. The push to electrify is so urgent that the Biden Administration recently invoked the Defense Production Act to develop increased lithium production capabilities in the United States.
“Our technologies are meeting the realities of this demand shortfall by extracting lithium first, immediately and efficiently, thereby enabling profitability at the earliest stages of production. The combination of that capability with the breadth of our feedstock acceptance capabilities positions our LIB recycling business to contribute billions to our enterprise value just based on the existing valuations of comparable public companies,” continued De Gasperis.
The Company is currently building commercial pilot scale facilities for LIBs and is preparing to commence operations at its state-of-the-art battery metal recycling facility later this year. The Company has already made significant strides in forging new cellulosic revenue and licensing streams, and is currently finalizing definitive agreements and timeframes, which will be shared soon. The Company has also made meaningful progress towards completing the monetization of its non-strategic assets as quickly as possible, while funding its businesses and limiting management’s focus to the renewable objectives outlined above.
De Gasperis concluded: “We look forward to our next communication and seeing those of you who can attend this year’s Annual General Meeting on May 26, 2022, where we plan on presenting our business plans and near-term revenues. We are extraordinarily focused on the renewable energy businesses that most impact our stakeholders in 2022 and beyond.”
About Comstock Mining Inc.
Comstock Mining Inc. (NYSE: LODE) innovates technologies that contribute to global decarbonization and circularity by efficiently converting massive supplies of under-utilized natural resources into renewable fuels and electrification products that contribute to balancing global uses and emissions of carbon. The Company intends to achieve exponential growth and extraordinary financial, natural, and social gains by building, owning, and operating a fleet of advanced carbon neutral extraction and refining facilities, by selling an array of complimentary process solutions and related services, and by licensing selected technologies to qualified strategic partners. To learn more, please visit www.comstock.inc.
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