Lithium Americas Corp.

Lithium Americas Corp.

January 17, 2011 07:00 ET

Lithium Americas Announces Financial and Operating Results For The Periods Ended November 30, 2010

-- Major operational advancements include defining the 3rd largest known lithium brine resource in the world

-- Completion of production wells and large scale pilot evaporation ponds

-- Over $23 million incurred in exploration to date

-- Strong cash position - $30.7 million in cash and cash equivalents

-- On schedule to complete Preliminary Economic Assessment in Q1 2011

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 17, 2011) - Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX:LAC) ("Lithium Americas" or the "Company") today reported its financial and operating results for the three and nine month periods ended November 30, 2010. All amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise indicated.

To November 30, 2010 a total of $27.3 million has been invested in property rights and exploration on the Company's principal and most advanced lithium potash property in Argentina (the "Cauchari-Olaroz Properties"). During the three and nine months ended November 30, 2010 the Company incurred $5.1 million and $17.4 million, respectively, to complete exploration and commence engineering activities necessary to advance the project to feasibility. For the three and nine months ended November 30, 2010 the Company reported losses of $1.4 million and $4.5 million, respectively. As at November 30, 2010 the Company had $30.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and positive working capital of $28.5 million.

"In 2010 Lithium Americas outlined a number of significant milestones crucial to the development of the Cauchari-Olaroz Properties, and we have achieved each one on time and on budget," stated Dr. Waldo Perez, President and CEO of Lithium Americas. "Most recently, we filed our 43-101 technical report, which identifies the Cauchari-Olaroz Properties as the 3rd largest known lithium brine resource in the world, with brine chemistry that compares very favourably to current producing mines. We have produced lithium carbonate at laboratory scale, completed a two-well production drilling program, and have constructed and filled large scale evaporation ponds designed to produce lithium at pilot scale on site. Our Preliminary Economic Assessment remains on schedule to be released in Q1 2011 and we continue to target mine construction in 2012. Given our successful progress to date, we feel confident that Lithium Americas' Cauchari-Olaroz Properties is one of the most advanced lithium brine projects in the world."

Operational highlights during the periods ended November 30, 2010 include:

  • Completion of a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate identifying that Lithium Americas' resource increased by more than 60 percent from the previous estimate and the average lithium grades increased by up to 13 percent. The in situ lithium carbonate and potash resource equivalents were estimated at 8 million tonnes (5.3 million tonnes measured and indicated) and 25 million tonnes (17.2 million tonnes measured and indicated), respectively.
  • Completion of a two-well production drilling program, allowing the Company to test pumping rates in the aquifers. Testing has commenced and will continue over the next several months.
  • Completion and filling of a large scale pilot evaporation pond (45 meters x 14 meters). The pond is designed to produce concentrated brine for the production of lithium carbonate at pilot scale, further allowing the Company to define the path to commercial production.
  • Completion of excavation of a larger pilot evaporation pond (100 meters x 100 meters) and commencement of pond liner installation. Pictures of this large scale pond and liner installation can be viewed at Construction of additional ponds will commence during the first quarter of 2011. These ponds will also be filled with brine extracted from the production wells and will be used to refine the overall evaporation process.
  • Appointment of Mr. Ian Fodie as the Company's Chief Financial Officer. Mr Fodie, a New Zealand qualified Chartered Accountant, brings over 25 years of international and operational experience, in addition to significant capital markets experience, to the Lithium Americas team.
  • Inclusion in the Global X Lithium Exchange Traded Fund ("ETF"). The ETF tracks the Solactive Global Lithium Index and is designed to reflect the performance of the largest and most liquid listed companies that are active in the exploration and / or mining of lithium or the production of lithium batteries.

The Company's unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements, and management discussion and analysis have been filed and are available in the SEDAR database at or on the Company's website

About the Company

Lithium Americas Corp. is one of the largest, most advanced, lithium brine development projects in the world. The Company's principal and most advanced property comprises a significant portion of two adjacent Argentinean salt lakes (salars), Cauchari and Olaroz, covering 64,572 hectares located in the Puna Plateau. The Puna Plateau is the most prolific brine reserve region globally, hosting greater than 80 percent of the world's lithium brine reserves. To the best knowledge of Lithium Americas, its principal property is the 3rd largest known lithium brine resource in the world. Mitsubishi Corporation and Magna International are shareholders in the Company, in addition to both companies having off-take arrangements with Lithium Americas. Additional information concerning the Company's Cauchari-Olaroz Properties and its in situ resource can be obtained from its NI 43-101 technical report dated Monday December 6th, 2010 and filed on SEDAR.

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 prospectus dated May 6, 2010 for a list of risks associated with the Company, and its business.

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