VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 28 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX: LAC) (NYSE: LAC) (“Lithium Americas” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the Company has submitted a draft application to the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) for funding to be used in its 100% owned Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, Nevada (“Thacker pass“) through the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program (the “loan program”). The loan program is designed to provide financing to US companies engaged in manufacturing advanced technology vehicles and components used in those vehicles.
“Thacker Pass is a unique, large-scale, late-stage lithium project that represents one of the most significant opportunities to create a truly national lithium supply chain to support electric vehicle production in the United States. United,” 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 U.S.-based consumers. “
Exploration of creating a separate U.S. lithium business
Lithium Americas continues to make significant progress on its projects in the United States and Argentina:
- United States: In addition to the draft DOE application, the company received all final key state permits for Thacker Pass on February 25, 2022. Funding discussions with various strategic partners are ongoing as well as completion of the feasibility study incorporating increased scale, additional processing and related infrastructure changes and engineering and testing results. Capital and operating cost estimates are updated to reflect these changes, as well as to account for external factors such as inflationary pressures and supply chain considerations.
- Argentina: The Caucharí-Olaroz lithium brine project (“Cauchari-Olaroz”) is set to complete this year as the largest new battery-grade lithium carbonate brine operation to come on stream in more than 20 years. The Caucharí-Olaroz expansion and the recently acquired Pastos Grandes lithium brine project (“Pastos Grandes”) offer additional growth potential to support a regional lithium operation in northern Argentina.
As Lithium Americas continues to advance its projects in both regions toward production, the company has begun the process of exploring a separation of its operations in the United States and Argentina, through the creation of a public company standalone focused on the development of Thacker Pass. The Company is evaluating the alternatives and structures available to effect this separation.
“We have world-class assets in both regions with huge potential,” Mr. Evans said. “While no final decision has been made, we believe a separation could allow 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 and most advanced development-stage lithium projects in the United States and has received a Record of Decision (‘STEM”) in January 2021. The project is aligned with the national program to improve the national supply of critical minerals and has the potential to be a major near-term source of lithium for the U.S. battery supply chain.
No final decision has been made regarding a possible separation transaction. No guarantee can be given as to the completion of a separation transaction, the form of such transaction or the timing of any transaction.
ABOUT LITHIUM AMERICAS
Lithium Americas is focused on advancing lithium projects in Argentina and the United States toward production. In Argentina, Caucharí-Olaroz is progressing to first production and Pastos Grandes represents regional growth. In the United States, Thacker Pass has received its ROD and is moving towards construction. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LAC”.
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CAUTION ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Certain statements contained in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable United States securities laws and “forward-looking information” under applicable Canadian securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). . These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company, its projects or the results of the industry to be materially different from the results, future performance or achievement expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, ” plans”, “anticipates”, “estimates”. ”, “planned”, “expect”, “predict” and other similar terms, or indicate that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. These statements reflect the Company’s current expectations regarding future events, financial or operating performance and results, and speak only as of the date of this release. These statements include, but are not limited to, expectations regarding the development status of the Company’s projects, expected production and product quality, the outcome of the Company’s loan application filed with the DOE, benefits expected potentials of the Thacker Pass project for the establishment of a battery supply chain in the United States in the near term, the completion of a feasibility study of the Thacker Pass project and the planned production capacity and parameters of the study, plans for regional operations in Argentina and construction completion schedule for the Caucharí-Olaroz project, and plans regarding strategic alternatives to finance the Thacker Pass project, including potential separation or other form of restructuring transaction involving one of the Company’s projects and the expected benefits of such a transaction.
Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be construed as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indicators of whether or not those results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from results discussed in any forward-looking statements or information, including, but not limited to, risks associated with developing mining projects, achieving milestones and planned budgets as planned and compliance with planned deadlines. ; the results of the Company’s engineering, design and permitting program for the Thacker Pass project, including the Company’s adherence to schedules and the receipt and maintenance of permits as planned; the timing, results and completion of a feasibility study and making a construction decision for the Thacker Pass project, including estimated capital and operating costs; the successful development of the Company’s projects and its ability to produce battery-grade lithium; changes in the availability of loan funding, evaluation criteria, or government policies regarding DOE loan application; risks associated with the novel nature of the deposit at Thacker Pass; the ability to integrate the operations of Millennial Lithium into the Company’s business and bring the Pastos Grandes project from development to production; the availability of strategic alternatives to the Company and on satisfactory terms, including market conditions favorable to a possible separation of one of the Company’s projects; ability to satisfy the Company’s IPO conditions after any separation, and to obtain any new listing for any entity resulting from a separation; the risks inherent in litigation that could lead to additional unforeseen delays or unfavorable decisions for the Company or its projects; maintain the support of local communities in the regions where the Company’s projects are located; changing social perceptions and their impact on project development and litigation; continued global supply chain disruptions and their impact on the development of the Company’s projects; availability of personnel, supplies and equipment; the impact of inflation on the Company, its projects and their economic feasibility; expectations and anticipated impact of COVID-19 on the Company and its mineral properties; unexpected changes in the market price of the Company’s shares; changes to Lithium Americas’ current and future business plans and strategic alternatives available to Lithium Americas; changes in government policies and priorities; general stock market conditions; lithium demand, supply and pricing; and general economic and political conditions in Canada, the United States, Argentina and other jurisdictions where Lithium Americas does business. Additional information about these assumptions and risks and uncertainties is contained in the Company’s filings with securities regulatory authorities, including the Company’s most recent Annual Information Form and the most recent MD&A for the last fiscal year and interim financial period of the Company, which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and EDGAR at www.sec.gov.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this release are based on what management of the Company believes to be reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release.