Lithium Americas Corp.

Lithium Americas Corp.

December 22, 2014 07:00 ET

High Efficiency Lithium Extraction Demo Plant Inaugurated at Lithium Americas' Cauchari-Olaroz Project in Jujuy, Argentina

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 22, 2014) -

Editors Note: There are three photos associated with this press release.

Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX:LAC) ("LAC" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that POSCO's innovative high efficiency lithium extraction demo plant ("Demo Plant") was inaugurated at LAC's Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in Jujuy, Argentina on December 19, 2014.

Among the 200+ people attending the Inauguration were the Governor of Jujuy Province, Eduardo Fellner, the Secretary of Mining of Argentina, Jorge Mayoral, and many representatives of all six local communities. POSCO was represented by Dr. Choi, Senior Vice President, and Dr. Uong Chon, Head of the POSCO lithium project.

POSCO, Korea's largest steel company and a leader in the development of advanced material processes, has developed an innovative lithium extraction technology, which it claims is much faster than traditional brine evaporation technology, has a recovery rate which is significantly higher than traditional brine evaporation technology, and minimizes the environmental footprint associated with large scale evaporation ponds used in traditional brine evaporation technology. POSCO's several hundred tonne Demo Plant is the final stage test for its high efficiency lithium extraction process, having previously successfully operated pilot plants in 2011 and 2013, respectively. The Demo Plant test is expected to take several weeks.

Lithium Americas and POSCO signed a Co-Operation Agreement in January 2014. Pursuant to the Co-operation Agreement, POSCO has located its Demo Plant at Lithium Americas' Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project - the third largest known lithium brine resource in the world. Following determination by POSCO that the Demo Plant is operating to expectations, LAC will enter into a 90-day exclusivity period for the negotiation of an agreement for commercial stage production with POSCO.

Commenting on the Inauguration, LAC's President and CEO, John Kanellitsas, said: "POSCO is now producing lithium at Cauchari. We congratulate Dr. Chon and POSCO for achieving this important milestone. We are all very proud of what has been accomplished in a very short period of time, and we are most grateful for the tireless efforts from an extremely talented and committed local team and the people of Jujuy Province, who all worked together alongside POSCO, to deliver on every timeline and budget metric. I would also like to acknowledge the strong support we have received from Governor Fellner, Secretary Mayoral, and our partners at JEMSE, and their dedication to advancing our project."

LAC's Executive Chairman, Tom Hodgson, added: "This important milestone demonstrates our commitment to a corporate mission focused on commercializing our world-class lithium resource using a sustainable, energy-efficient, and environmentally-friendly production process. LAC's pledge is to follow sustainable development practices to protect this special lithium resource of the Argentine Puna for the benefit of all our stakeholders for generations to come."

Additional pictures from the Inauguration are located in the Photo Gallery section of our website.

Cautionary Note and Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward looking statements, which can be identified by the use of statements that include words such as "developing", "expect", "will", "continue", "implementing", or other similar words or phrases. Forward-looking statements express, as at the date of this press release, the Company's plans, estimates, forecasts, projections, expectations, or beliefs as to future events or results. Forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions, including the key assumptions and parameters on which such estimates are based, involve risks and uncertainties and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Factors that could cause results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, possible variations in mineral resource and reserve estimates, grade/concentration or recovery rates, lithium or potash prices, operating or capital costs; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; political, community relations, regulatory, environmental and other risks of the mining industry and other risks more fully described in the Company's Annual Information Form available on SEDAR. The Cauchari-Olaroz project has no operating history upon which to base estimates of future cash flow.

The capital expenditures and time required to develop any new project is considerable and changes in capital and/or operating costs or construction schedules can affect project economics. It is possible that actual capital and/or operating costs may increase significantly and economic returns may differ materially from the Company's estimates or that prices of lithium and/or potash may decrease significantly or that the Company could fail to enter into a commercialization agreement for the project, extraction technologies may not function as expected or at all, or may fail to obtain further project financing on acceptable terms and conditions or at all, in which case, the project may not proceed either on its original timing or at all. It is not unusual in the mining industry for new mining operations to experience unexpected problems during the start-up phase, resulting in delays and requiring more capital than anticipated. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results to be materially different from those planned, estimated, forecasted, projected or expected. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligations, to update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

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