Lithium Americas Corp.

Lithium Americas Corp.

September 12, 2011 07:00 ET

Lithium Americas Announces the Completion of Significant Engineering Milestones at its Cauchari-Olaroz Lithium Brine Project

- Completion of bench scale tests

- Completion of evaporation cycle from its industrial scale pond, producing 15 tonnes of concentrated lithium brine

- Completion of laboratory expansion with atomic absorption facility

- Completion of thermodynamic model of the brine processing route

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2011) - Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX:LAC)(OTCQX:LHMAF) ("Lithium Americas" or the "Company") is providing an update on the significant engineering progress made since the completion of its Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") in April 2011.

"The PEA identified numerous initiatives for us to pursue in order to be in a position to complete a definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") prior to a production decision. We have successfully completed several key engineering milestones that will allow us to finalize our brine processing route and to complete our DFS," said Dr. Waldo A. Perez, President and CEO of Lithium Americas. "We have a staff of six full time engineers developing this exciting process and the results of developing our internal know-how are coming to fruition."

Completion of Bench Scale Tests

The Company's bench scale tests were completed by SGS Minerals Services ("SGS") in Lakefield, Ontario. The brine processing route and the reagents are currently being patented. The information from these tests was used to design the Company's lithium carbonate pilot plant. The pilot plant is currently being constructed by SGS and is expected to become operational in Q4 2011. The pilot plant is expected to produce 99.5 percent purity lithium carbonate. Production from the pilot plant is estimated to be approximately 30 kilograms of lithium carbonate per day, and will be used to provide industrial samples of lithium carbonate to potential customers for qualification purposes.

Completion of Evaporation Cycle

The Company has completed a full cycle of evaporation from its industrial scale ponds. The 180 day cycle, which was in line with estimates provided in the PEA, produced approximately 15 tonnes of concentrated lithium brine. This concentrated lithium brine is to be processed in the pilot plant in Q4 to produce 99.5 percent purity lithium carbonate. Lithium Americas will continue producing concentrated lithium brine through this evaporation process in order to continue feeding the Company's pilot plant.

Completion of Laboratory Expansion

The Company has completed the expansion of its on-site laboratory which is now able to analyze 50 full samples a day for the following elements: Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Boron, Sulphates, Chlorides as well as physical parameters including pH and conductivity. The lab is fully equipped with atomic absorption facilities and has recently completed round robin comparisons with five different certified international labs. The lab has been designed and audited by Alex Stewart Assayers for Quality Assurance and Quality Control.

Completion of Thermodynamic Model

The completion of this model allows the Company to predict the brine processing route - from brine extraction at the wells to the evaporation ponds, through the evaporation cycle and finally to the lithium carbonate processing plant. The model reconstructs the changes to the brine throughout the process route at different chemical and physical parameters (including weather, interaction with reagents, time, etc.), assisting the Company in optimizing its design efforts. The model was designed exclusively for the Cauchari-Olaroz brine and constitutes proprietary technology.

About the Company

Lithium Americas is developing one of the world's largest and lowest cost lithium operations. The Company has defined the world's third largest lithium brine resource. A Preliminary Economic Assessment prepared by independent engineering firm ARA WorleyParsons indicates that Lithium Americas' operating cost per tonne of lithium carbonate is US$1,434 (prior to expected potash by-product credit), based on available industry information; this would make Lithium Americas the world's lowest cost lithium producer. The Company is currently working on completing a definitive Feasibility Study. Mitsubishi Corporation and Magna International are shareholders in the Company, in addition to both companies having off-take arrangements with Lithium Americas.

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Roger Kelley, B.Sc. (Chem. Eng.), of ARA WorleyParsons and independent QP of the Company has reviewed and approved this press release.

The Preliminary Economic Assessment is based on mineral resources. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by the use of statements that include words such as "could", "potential", "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "plan", "likely", "will" or other similar words or phrases. 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. Readers should review the Company's annual information form dated May 30, 2011 for a list of risks associated with the Company, and its business.

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