US exploration company LI3 Energy has closed the $10m, second-tranche of funding from POSCO Canada, a subsidiary of South Korean steel-making company POSCO.

The funding completes the $18m financial commitment that POSCO had made in August 2011.

As per the agreement, POSCO will invest $10m to purchase units at a price of $0.16 that consist of one share of common stock and a three-year warrant to purchase one share of common stock at an exercise price of $0.21.

Li3 will issue warrants to POSCO for the aggregate purchase of 5 million shares of common stock, exercisable for a period of two years.

Li3 chief executive officer Luis Saenz said, "This marks an important accomplishment and milestone in the history of Li3. We are extremely pleased to have closed this funding with our strategic partner POSCO, who has now become our largest shareholder with approximately 26% of Li3’s outstanding common stock.

The company will now focus on a plan to bring the Maricunga project in Chile to the feasibility stage, and advance its technology initiatives in pilot testing and additional land acreage to support further development of the project.