Movers and SHAKERS
Comstock Forms Joint Venture with Lakeview Energy
Acquires 50% Stake in 200,000 Pound Per Day Hemp Extraction, Remediation, and Refinement Facility
VIRGINIA CITY, NEVADA, July 29, 2021 – Comstock Mining Inc. (NYSE: LODE) (“Comstock” and the “Company”) today announced the execution of a series of agreements with Lakeview Energy LLC (“Lakeview”) and its subsidiaries, pursuant to which the Company acquired 50% of the equity of Lakeview’s subsidiary, LP Biosciences LLC (“LPB”), and agreed to provide the financing needed to retrofit LPB’s pre-existing industrial scale solvent extraction and valorization facility in Merrill, Iowa (“LPB Facility”), for the production of an array of wholesale products from up to 200,000 pounds per day of industrial hemp. Comstock issued 3,500,000 restricted shares of its common stock to LPB in connection with its acquisition and financing commitments, and simultaneously acquired 100% of MANA Corporation (“MANA”), an industrial hemp technology development, marketing, and management company, for 4,200,000 restricted shares of Comstock common stock.
Industrial Scale Infrastructure
Industrial hemp is an extraordinary natural resource with tens of thousands of known applications, including food, feed, fuel, and fiber, and an array of emerging applications in batteries, bioplastics, and other renewable alternatives to fossil fuel derived products. However, hemp’s ability to produce over 400 natural phytochemicals, such as cannabidiol (“CBD”) and cannabigerol (“CBG”), has recently garnered significant attention as some of those chemicals are seen to have compelling potential in health and wellness applications. The corresponding green rush propelled global demand and sales of industrial hemp products to an estimated $1.9 billion as of 2020, and the industry is expected to grow to $6.9 billion worldwide by 2025, according to Hemp Industry Daily.
“The processing infrastructure needed to achieve those aspirations does not exist today at the scales and sophistication expected of mature supply chains for comparable commodities,” said MANA’s Chief Executive Officer, William McCarthy. “The absence of large scale capacity represents the hemp industry’s most significant bottleneck today. MANA is addressing that deficiency by acquiring and partnering with experienced agriproducts management teams and pre-existing industrial scale facilities in adjacent agricultural markets. We are excited to do so today with Comstock, Lakeview, and the LPB Facility, and we’re looking forward to making a market leading contribution to the debottlenecking and evolution of the industry.”
Mature Agriproducts Management
Lakeview is an experienced agriproducts management company that owns and operates three renewable fuels facilities, including two 55 million gallon dry mill corn ethanol facilities located in Ohio and Iowa, and a 10 million gallon per year biodiesel production facility located in Missouri. Importantly, LPB’s LPB Facility is ideally co-located with Lakeview’s ethanol facility in Iowa, where the two facilities can exploit operational and other synergies to maximize throughput, profitability, and cash flow. Comstock’s and MANA’s agreements with Lakeview call for Lakeview to provide construction, operating, administrative, logistics, commodities, risk management and other services to LPB as the parties work together to build, operate and grow the LPB Facility. MANA additionally agreed to provide a suite of complimentary technology, marketing and other management services, with a focus on acquiring and using pre-existing and new feedstock and offtake arrangements to fill the LPB Facility.
“Industrial hemp has remarkable potential in several important respects, including its potential for new jobs and stimulating economic, environmental and social value creation in our community,” said Jim Galvin, Lakeview’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re pleased to partner with Comstock and MANA as we upgrade and use the LPB Facility to provide comprehensive hemp extraction, remediation, and refinement services at scales that are currently unheard of in the hemp industry.”
Industry Leading Scale, Quality, Compliance, and Flexibility
Comstock’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Corrado DeGasperis, added: “We are proud to have assembled a world class asset with a team of industry veterans, process engineers, and partners to rapidly retrofit and commence operations with the LPB Facility, thereby setting a global standard for quality, compliance, consistency, flexibility and speed at an extraordinary scale. Once retrofits are complete in mid-2022, the LPB Facility will generate significant free cash flow by servicing the most astute, demanding, and rapidly growing buyers of wholesale hemp products with custom tailored solutions.”
The LPB Facility is conservatively expected to scale up to its initial nameplate capacity exceeding 200,000 pounds per day and 36,500 tons per year of industrial hemp over its first three years of operations, as it extracts, remediates, and refines oil from industrial hemp to generate annualized revenues exceeding $53,000,000, $154,000,000, and $409,000,000 per year during LPB’s first, second, and third full years of operations, respectively, as shown in the following excerpt from LPB’s internal projections:
Ecosystem of Strategic Feedstocks, Processes and Products
DeGasperis concluded: “Comstock is focused on the rapid and simultaneous maximization of financial, natural, and social impact, in large part by building an ecosystem of strategic extraction and valorization facilities with complimentary feedstocks and products. In this example, the LPB Facility’s revenue estimates are based only on the oil fraction of industrial hemp, which corresponds to a small portion of total feedstock biomass. The rest of that biomass is mostly comprised of cellulose with many known co-product applications, as well as some very exciting new applications that we are actively evaluating for use in our existing and planned new decarbonization efforts.”
About Comstock Mining Inc.
Comstock Mining Inc. (NYSE: LODE) (the “Company”) is an emerging innovator and leader in the sustainable extraction, valorization, and production of scarce natural resources, with a focus on high value strategic materials that are essential to meeting the rapidly increasing global demand for clean energy, carbon-neutrality, and natural products. To learn more, please visit www.comstockmining.com.
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|Comstock Mining Inc.
P.O. Box 1118
Virginia City, NV 89440
|Corrado De Gasperis
Executive Chairman & CEO
Tel (775) 847-4755
Director of External Relations
Tel (775) 847-5272 Ext.151