Lithium Americas Corp.
TSX : LAC

Lithium Americas Corp.

January 06, 2011 09:27 ET

Lithium Americas Completes Significant Operational Milestones at Cauchari-Olaroz

Completion of Two Production Wells

Large Scale Pilot Evaporation Pond Completed and Filled

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 6, 2011) - Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX:LAC) ("Lithium Americas" or the "Company"), today announced that it has further advanced the development of its Cauchari-Olaroz lithium-potash project in Argentina with the completion of several key operational milestones.

Production Drilling Program

The Company has completed a two-well production drilling program, which consists of two 17 inch production wells and ten 5 ¼ inch monitoring wells. The production wells are being used to test the pumping rates in the aquifers down to a depth of 200 meters, while the monitoring wells are designed to monitor the production wells as they drain down the aquifers. Testing has commenced and will continue over the next several months.

Evaporation Ponds

Lithium Americas has also successfully completed and filled its first 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 defining the path to commercial production.

The Company has also completed the excavation and initial construction of a larger pilot evaporation pond (100 meters x 100 meters) and has begun installation of the pond liner. Several other smaller ponds will be in construction during the first quarter of 2011. These ponds will also be filled with brine extracted from the production wells and will be used to fine tune the overall evaporation process. The scale of these ponds is 1/600th of the expected size of the final commercial ponds.

"The completion of the production wells and the construction and filling of the large scale pilot evaporation pond represents the successful completion of another significant milestone in the advancement and commercialization of the Cauchari-Olaroz project, the third largest lithium brine deposit in the world," said Waldo Perez, President & CEO of Lithium Americas Corp. "This demonstrates that Lithium Americas remains on schedule to complete its Preliminary Economic Assessment in the first quarter of 2011, and to have a decision on mine construction in 2012."

Photos of the ponds and on site facilities are available on the Company's website at www.lithiumamericas.com

John Kieley, P.Geo., is the internal Qualified Person for the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in accordance with NI 43-101. Mr. Kieley has read and approved the contents of this news release.

About the Company

Lithium Americas Corp. is a Company focused on the development of lithium and potassium projects in South America. 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 approximately 84 percent of the world's lithium brine reserves. To the best knowledge of Lithium Americas, its principal property is the 3rd largest 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 project 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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