Lithium Americas Corp.

Lithium Americas Corp.

November 08, 2011 08:30 ET

Lithium Americas Completes Construction of Pilot Plant and Commences Pilot Production of Battery Grade Lithium Carbonate

- Pilot plant constructed by SGS Minerals Services in Lakefield, Ontario

- Pilot plant designed to produce 30 kg of battery grade lithium carbonate per day

- Lithium carbonate to be shipped to strategic partners and potential customers for certification

- Update on boron and potash by-product potential

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 8, 2011) - Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX:LAC)(OTCQX:LHMAF) ("Lithium Americas" or the "Company"), is pleased to announce that its lithium carbonate pilot plant, designed and constructed by SGS Minerals Services ("SGS") in Lakefield, Ontario for its Cauchari-Olaroz project, has been completed and pilot production is now underway. The pilot plant is designed to produce approximately 30 kilograms of battery grade lithium carbonate (99.5% purity) per day. Lithium carbonate will be shipped to strategic partners and potential customers to begin the specification and certification process. Once the testing period of pilot production is completed at SGS, the plant will be shipped to Lithium Americas' Cauchari-Olaroz project site, where it will be put into operation and fed with concentrated lithium brine from the Company's industrial scale evaporation ponds. It is expected that pilot production will continue throughout 2012.

"We are amongst the few lithium brine development companies to have constructed a pilot plant capable of producing battery grade lithium carbonate," said Dr. Waldo A. Perez, President and CEO of Lithium Americas. "While other companies have been able to produce lithium carbonate at lab scale, production at pilot plant scale is more complex and requires having significant evaporation ponds on-site in order to produce the necessary volume of lithium concentrate to feed the pilot plant, as well as having the technology to perform the lithium extraction process and obtain a product with the parameters required by the battery and automotive industries. The completion of the pilot plant is a major achievement and further demonstrates our leadership position within the industry."

Boron and Potash Update

Boron was extracted from the brine using a proprietary solvent extraction technology (patent pending). The commercial viability of boron by-products will be defined during the completion of the Company's definitive feasibility study.

The potash flotation studies carried out at the Saskatchewan Research Council have successfully produced 95 percent purity potassium chloride ("KCl"). As such, the process parameters and flow diagram for potash production required for the definitive feasibility study are close to being finalized.

To view photos of the lithium carbonate pilot plant, as well as photos of the solvent extraction facilities and potash concentrate, please visit the Company's website at

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 the independent engineering firm ARA WorleyParsons indicates that Lithium Americas' operating cost per tonne of lithium carbonate is US$1,434 (prior to expected potash and boron by-product credits), 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.

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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