Lithium Americas Corp.

Lithium Americas Corp.

November 24, 2014 07:00 ET

Lithium Americas Announces Formal Inauguration of POSCO Pilot Plant at Its Cauchari-Olaroz Lithium Project in Jujuy, Argentina

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 24, 2014) - Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX:LAC) ("LAC" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the formal Inauguration of the final stage POSCO lithium extraction pilot plant at its Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in Jujuy Province, Argentina.

Lithium Americas and POSCO signed a Co-Operation Agreement in January 2014. POSCO, Korea's largest steel company and a leader in the development of advanced material processes, has been developing an innovative lithium extraction technology, which it claims is both much faster than traditional brine evaporation technology, and minimizes the environmental footprint associated with large scale evaporation ponds. POSCO has previously successfully operated a 2 tonne pilot plant in 2011, and a 20 tonne pilot plant in 2013.

As announced on November 4, 2014, POSCO's final stage 200 tonne lithium extraction pilot plant was delivered for assembly to LAC's Cauchari salar in the Jujuy province of northern Argentina. Following the delivery, assembly and operation of the Pilot Plant, LAC and POSCO are pleased to announce that the formal Inauguration Ceremony is expected to occur on or about December 20, 2014. The Inauguration will involve senior executives from POSCO and Lithium Americas, and the Governor of Jujuy Province, Eduardo Fellner. The Inauguration Ceremony will receive extensive media coverage in Korea as well as Argentina.

LAC's Executive Chairman, Tom Hodgson, commented: "We are celebrating a monumental achievement. POSCO and LAC have worked extremely hard and productively together over the past year to get us to this point. With the strong support of Governor Fellner, the provincial government of Jujuy, and the federal government of Argentina, the delivery of the Pilot Plant has been achieved in record time. I can't say enough about the work of our team at Minera Exar in Jujuy, led by Franco Mignacco, nor how much we have enjoyed our developing relationship with the POSCO team led by Dr. Uong Chon. It has been a true team effort, of which we are all very proud."

LAC Chief Executive Officer, John Kanellitsas, added: "There is no question that we have a very large, world-class lithium resource at Cauchari, and there is no question that POSCO has developed a game-changing lithium processing technology, which achieves much higher recovery rates, in much less time, and with a much smaller environmental footprint, than is the case with the conventional evaporation approach. We want to ensure we are taking full advantage of significant advancements in processing technologies that have occurred since the last large scale lithium brine project entered into continuous production more than fifteen years ago. Both LAC and POSCO are strongly committed to sustainability and energy efficiency as cornerstones of their business plans."

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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