Lithium Americas Corp.
TSX : LAC

Lithium Americas Corp.

October 15, 2010 21:34 ET

Lithium Americas Corp. Announces Second Quarter Fiscal 2011 Results and Provides Operational Update

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2010) - Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX:LAC) ("Lithium Americas" or the "Company"), today reported its financial and operating results for the second quarter and first six months of fiscal 2011 ended August 31, 2010. Lithium Americas was incorporated in April 2009 and began trading as a public company in May 2010. All amounts are in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise noted.

The Company completed an initial public offering on May 13, 2010 and raised net proceeds of $41,400,214 (gross proceeds of $45,000,140). Funds expended during the first two quarters of fiscal 2011 were used primarily to complete the exploration of the Company's principal and most advanced properties in Argentina (the "Cauchari-Olaroz Properties"), as well as to begin the engineering activities necessary to advance the project to feasibility. For the three and six months ended August 31, 2010 the Company incurred a net loss of $1,343,714 and $3,116,217 respectively and incurred $5,991,798 and $11,423,022 respectively in exploration costs on the Cauchari-Olaroz Properties. At August 31, 2010 the Company had $37,492,044 in cash and cash equivalents and $34,791,429 in working capital.

Operational Highlights

Lithium Americas continues to make significant progress in the continued exploration and development of its Cauchari-Olaroz Properties. Operational highlights during and subsequent to the quarter ended August 31, 2010, include:

  • Completion of the Exploration Drilling Program – the Company completed a 53-hole exploration drilling program, totalling approximately 10,000 meters. During the 2010 program the Company discovered lithium/potassium brine in an area that is approximately double the width (from 2 km to 4 km in width) of the original area used in calculating the inferred resource estimate. Additionally, the new reverse circulation ("RC") holes achieved depths that were, on average, 40 percent greater than the holes used to calculate the inferred resource estimate. The 2010 program produced the highest lithium concentrations to date.

  • Opening of On-Site Pilot Evaporation and Analytical Laboratory Facilities – a significant step in advancing the project to feasibility, the Company's pilot evaporation pond facility has the capability of simulating on a small scale, the evaporation process of a future full scale production facility. The Company's on-site laboratory facility has full analytical capabilities to analyze lithium, potassium, magnesium, and all relevant elements present in the brine, as well as the ability to produce laboratory scale quantities of lithium carbonate.

  • Engagement of ARA WorleyParsons to Perform Engineering Services – ARA WorleyParsons is a professional services engineering firm with experience in designing and building lithium/potassium brine processing facilities. The Company chose to retain ARA WorleyParsons to assist in the development of its lithium brine project because of the extensive knowledge and experience that ARA WorleyParsons has in this area given it was engaged in developing the technology, process engineering, equipment selection, and construction of the world's largest lithium brine processing facility in Chile.

  • Timeline and Milestones to Feasibility – the Company provided a timeline and key milestones leading to the completion of the feasibility study for its Cauchari Project, including:

    • Upgraded NI 43-101 Technical Report and Resource Estimate (Q4 2010)
    • Completion of the Production Drilling Program (Q4 2010)
    • Processing Route and Large Test Pond Construction (Q4 2010)
    • Preliminary Economic Assessment (Q1 2011)
    • Final Feasibility (Q4 2011)

"Lithium Americas continues to make great strides toward the development of our Cauchari resource," stated Waldo Perez, President and CEO of Lithium Americas. "Initial results from our highly successful exploration program have demonstrated that Cauchari is larger and potentially higher grade than previously indicated, and provided further evidence that we have a significant lithium / potash resource. With the completion of the exploration phase of our program, the completion of our on-site labs and our pilot-scale evaporation facility, the initiation of our production drilling program, and the engagement of ARA WorleyParsons as our engineering firm, we are now positioned to aggressively pursue development of our world-class lithium deposit and move the project to feasibility."

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, Cauchari and Olaroz, covering 43,623 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. Based on an NI 43-101 compliant inferred in situ resource estimate of 1.58 x 1012 litres with average grade of 584 mg/L lithium and 4,860 mg/L potassium (equivalent to 4.9 million tonnes of lithium carbonate and 7.7 million tonnes of potassium), Lithium Americas' principal property is one of the largest known lithium brine deposits 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.

John Kieley, P. Geo. is the internal Qualified Person on the project who has reviewed this news release and is responsible for the technical information reported herein.

Certain information contained in this news release is based on the Company's NI 43-101 compliant technical report titled "Amended Inferred Resource Estimation Of Lithium and Potassium at the Cauchari and Olaroz Salars, Jujuy Province, Argentina" dated February 15, 2010, prepared for Lithium Americas Corp. by Mark King, a "qualified person" pursuant to NI 43-101, which can be viewed on the Company's website or at www.sedar.com, under the Company's profile. Inferred resources have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or prefeasibility studies, except in rare cases. Investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an inferred resource can be upgraded to an indicated or measured resource, or is economically mineable.

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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