Cellulosic Breakthrough Unlocks Massive New Feedstock Model for Net Zero Energy Independence
VIRGINIA CITY, NEVADA, AUGUST 9, 2022 – Comstock Inc. (NYSE: LODE) (“Comstock” and the “Company”) today announced its recent business development highlights, second quarter 2022 results, and updated outlook.
Selected Strategic Highlights – Cellulosic Fuels
- Expanded our leading cellulosic fuels technology portfolio by filing for a new patent covering breakthrough pathways to produce Bioleum a renewable offset for petroleum and multiple drop-in renewable fuels from woody biomass.
- Filed a preliminary application for a U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) grant opportunity for a pilot scale system to validate enhanced production metrics of purified bio-intermediaries and renewable fuels from woody biomass.
- Received a notification of “encouragement” from the U.S. Department of Energy for this same grant opportunity.
- Established strategic collaborations with leading industry partners, including feedstock and offtake relationships, for the development of renewable fuels, from woody biomass, at dramatically improved yield, efficiency, and cost.
- Advanced the engineering and development of our cellulosic fuel demonstration facility.
Selected Strategic Highlights – Lithium Extraction and Electrification Products
- Commissioned our proprietarylithium-ion battery (“LIB”) pilot crushing, separation, and conditioning system.
- Enhanced the design and commenced upgrades on our proprietary LIB pilot crushing and separation system.
- Completed construction of our prototype lithium extraction system in our R&D facility and commenced testing.
- Advanced permitting for our state-of-the-art battery metal recycling facility in Nevada.
- Production of high-purity black mass to commence in our battery metal recycling facility by Q2 2023.
- Production of battery grade lithium carbonate to commence in our battery metal recycling facility by Q3 2023.
Selected Financial Highlights
- Total assets were $117,826,063 as of June 30, 2022, as compared to $115,119,393 at March 31, 2022.
- Operating expenses were $5,896,617 for the second quarter 2022, including selling, general and administrative expenses of $2,508,573 and research and development expenses of $2,579,150, and depreciation of $808,894.
- Second quarter 2022 net loss was $13,766,846 or $(0.20) per share, as compared to second quarter 2021 net loss of $6,320,992 or $(0.15) per share. The 2022 results were primarily driven by increases in research and development expenditures and changes in fair values of derivatives.
- Advanced non-strategic asset monetization efforts with asset sales proceeds expected at $20 million.
- Debt was $4,572,356 on June 30, 2022, net of discount, representing an unsecured promissory note.
- Cash and cash equivalents were $4,345,315 on June 30, 2022.
- Outstanding common shares were 76,822,049 at June 30, 2022, and 78,737,632 at August 8, 2022.
“Our financial results reflect the impact of our continued investment in the research, development and commercialization of our renewable energy businesses,” said Corrado De Gasperis, Comstock’s executive chairman and chief executive officer. “The building and operating of these proprietary demonstration systems are critical prerequisites for full scale commercialization.”
The Company recently announced a significant expansion of its leading cellulosic technology portfolio by filing for a new patent covering breakthrough pathways to produce renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel (“SAF”) gasoline and marine fuel from woody biomass, at dramatically improved yield, efficiency, and cost in comparison to all known methods.
Renewable fuels provide a critical opportunity for decarbonization, however, most of the existing U.S. renewable fuel refineries draw from the same limited pool of constrained feedstocks. Comstock’s plans to decarbonize with renewable fuels involves abundant feedstocks that are not used today, enabling a vast untapped energy source with superior benefits.
“Our new patent covers processes and compositions that have been validated at our existing two ton per day cellulosic fuels pilot facility, verifying that we can simultaneously produce multiple purified biointermediates that are uniquely isolated and free of the contaminants that have frustrated prior attempts at commercializing cellulosic fuel technologies,” added De Gasperis.
Based on current data, Comstock projects best-in-class renewable yields exceeding 80 gallons per dry ton of woody biomass (on a gasoline gallon equivalent basis), with lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions exceeding 80% over petroleum.
The Company is currently expanding its existing cellulosic demonstration systems to include the production of Bioleum™ and expects these demonstration systems to add to our existing capabilities for producing carbon-neutral pulps, cellulosic sugar and cellulosic ethanol. The expansion into Bioleum™ will demonstrate the full capability of producing these bio-intermediaries suitable for the production of renewable diesel, marine, SAF and gasoline from woody biomass.
The Company recently submitted a preliminary grant application to the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) entitled “Production of Renewable Diesel, Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Gasoline, and Marine Fuel from Lignocellulosic Biomass at Dramatically Improved Yield, Efficiency, and Cost” and received a DOE notification of encouragement to apply for this funding opportunity, reflecting positively on the Company technology readiness and the strength of its collaboration partners.
De Gasperis continued, “The existing U.S. biorefining capacity is far greater than current feedstocks can support, and the DOE clearly recognizes the need for expanded feedstocks. We believe that our expanded technology solutions, and the magnitude of feedstocks that they enable, unblock one of the most critical supply chain constraints across the U.S. and global markets.”
The Company completed construction and initial commissioning of its breakthrough LIB crushing, separating, and conditioning process during the second quarter, successfully confirming the production of highly concentrated “black mass.”
“We have successfully developed a proprietary system that produces a novel and pure black mass, further positioning us for high efficiency metals extraction, starting with lithium,” said Mr. De Gasperis. “Our team is enhancing the pilot system for deployment in Nevada where we will ultimately integrate our black mass production and lithium extraction process in 2023.”
The Company expects to receive its main operating permit during the fourth quarter of 2022 and complete the submission of its modified air quality permits for our LIB processes at our state-of-the-art, battery metal recycling facility in the third quarter.
“The cleaning and repairs of our facility in Nevada are near complete and truly look outstanding. The facility can now be readied for the receipt and installations of pilot and demonstration units for crushing, separating and conditioning of our novel black mass and subsequently, our lithium extraction, while the permitting process continues” concluded Mr. De Gasperis.
Cash and cash equivalents were $4,345,315 on June 30, 2022. The Company expects over $20 million in proceeds over the next two quarters from the sale of its non-mining properties, non-strategic investments, and collection of advances receivable, including the Daney Ranch for $2.5 million, net, and proceeds from Sierra Springs Opportunity Fund totaling over $18 million.
Conference Call Details
Comstock will host the conference call on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, at 1:15 p.m. PDT (4:15 p.m. EDT) and the webcast will include a moderated question and answer session following the Company’s prepared remarks. Please click the link below to register in advance and please join the event at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webcast. Please click here to register in advance.
Comstock (NYSE: LODE) innovates technologies that contribute to global decarbonization and circularity by efficiently converting 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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