Canadian Manufacturing

Lithium Americas exploring separation of its US lithium business

The Loan Program is designed to provide funding to US companies engaged in the manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles and components used in those vehicles.

February 28, 2022   by CM Staff

VANCOUVER — Lithium Americas Corp. announces the Company has submitted a draft application to the US Department of Energy (DOE) for funding to be used at its 100%-owned Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, Nevada (Thacker Pass) through the Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program (the Loan Program). The Loan Program is designed to provide funding to US companies engaged in the manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles and components used in those vehicles.

“Thacker Pass is a unique, large-scale and advanced-stage lithium project representing one of the most significant opportunities to create a truly domestic lithium supply chain to support the production of electric vehicles in the US,” said Jonathan Evans, President and CEO. “We are pleased to submit our draft application and look forward to engaging with the DOE to accelerate the growth of the domestic lithium industry in response to increased demand and interest from US-based consumers.”

Exploring Creation of Separate US Lithium Business

Lithium Americas continues to make meaningful progress at its projects in both the United States and Argentina:

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  • United States: In addition to the draft application with the DOE, the Company received all final key state permits for Thacker Pass on February 25, 2022. Funding discussions with a variety of strategic partners are ongoing along with the completion of the feasibility study incorporating increased scale, additional processing and related infrastructure changes and the results of engineering and testing. Capital and operating cost estimates are being updated to reflect these changes, as well as to account for external factors such as inflationary pressures and supply chain considerations.
  • Argentina: The Company’s Caucharí-Olaroz lithium brine project (“Caucharí-Olaroz”) is set to complete construction this year as the largest new battery-quality lithium carbonate brine operation to come online in over 20 years. The Caucharí-Olaroz expansion and the recently acquired Pastos Grandes lithium brine project (“Pastos Grandes”) provide further growth potential to support a regional lithium operation in northern Argentina.

As Lithium Americas continues to advance its projects in both regions towards production, the Company has started the process of exploring a separation of its US and Argentina operations, through the creation of a standalone public company focused on the development of Thacker Pass. The Company is assessing available alternatives and structures to effect such separation.

“We have world-class assets in both regions with tremendous potential,” said Mr. Evans. “While no final decision has been made, we believe a separation could enable each of our businesses to maximize and accelerate their strategic objectives, with dedicated focus and increased financial flexibility.”

Mr. Evans added, “Thacker Pass is one of the largest-scale and most advanced development-stage lithium projects in the US and received a Record of Decision (“ROD”) in January 2021. The project is aligned with the national agenda to enhance domestic supply of critical minerals and has the potential to be a leading near-term source of lithium for the US battery supply chain.”