SANTIAGO, Chile, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Li3 Energy, Inc., (OTC.BB.LIEG –News) ("Li3", "Li3 Energy" or the "Company"), a US-listed and South American based global exploration and development company in the lithium and minerals sector is pleased to report that pursuant to the previously announced Securities Purchase Agreement dated as of August 24th, 2011, Li3 has closed on the $8 Million first tranche of funding with POSCO Canada Ltd. ("POSCAN"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of POSCO (NYSE: PKX), a Republic of South Korea multinational global leader. Concurrent with this closing, David Rector and Kjeld Thygesen resigned from, and POSCAN's designee Mr. Hyundae Kim was appointed to Li3's Board of Directors. Mr. Kim has various experiences in both the private and government sector. Mr. Kim worked in the Korean Central Government's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy from 1994 until 2006 dealing with industrial policy, trade policy and international trade negotiations. From July 2006 to October 2009, he worked in the private sector as Managing Director for New Investment Development and Strategy at ILJIN Materials, a Korean B2B company. In November 2009, he joined POSCO where he serves as a Director in the Growth and Investment Division reviewing numerous investment projects and alternatives including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and organic growth projects. Mr. Kim graduated with a Bachelor of Economics from Seoul National University in Korea and an MBA from INSEAD in France. Luis Saenz, CEO of Li3, stated: "Li3 is extremely pleased to have closed on this first round of funding with POSCO. We look forward to working together as we execute on all aspects of our development plan and advance the project towards completing the milestones for the second tranche of their investment, including, achieving a Measured and Indicated NI 43–101 Resource Report. I am extremely grateful to the entire POSCO team for their efficient and collaborative effort allowing this transaction to close in such a short period of time. And for the Li3 team, my congratulations and thanks for the extreme effort and for ensuring we can now move forward with an excellent partner to develop Maricunga into a world class project. We welcome Mr. Kim to the Board where his leadership, experience and contributions will be of great value. We would also like to thank Mr. Thygesen and Mr. Rector for their outstanding service to the Li3 board where their counsel was instrumental in helping our company achieve this major milestone". About Li3 Energy, Inc. Li3 Energy, Inc. is an exploration and developmental stage public company in the lithium mining and energy sector. Li3 aims to acquire, develop and commercialize a significant portfolio of lithium brine deposits in the Americas.