Lithium Americas Corp.
TSX : LAC

Lithium Americas Corp.

December 06, 2010 12:19 ET

Lithium Americas Corp. Defines the 3rd Largest Lithium Brine Resource in the World

Company Files Updated NI 43-101 Resource Estimate and Is Well Positioned to Advance Project to Feasibility

Targets 2012 for Mine Construction

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 6, 2010) - Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX:LAC) ("Lithium Americas" or the "Company"), today announced that it has filed its updated resource estimate of its Cauchari-Olaroz lithium–potassium property in Argentina with the Canadian regulatory authorities. As announced on November 8th, the Company's resource increased by more than 60 percent from the previous estimate and the average lithium grades increased by up to 13 percent. The NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate and technical report was completed under the supervision of Dr. Mark King (Groundwater Insight Inc., Nova Scotia, Canada), as an independent Qualified Person. The report is available online in both the SEDAR Database (www.sedar.com) and Lithium Americas' website. According to available industry data and to the best of Lithium Americas' knowledge, the in situ resource estimated to be contained in the Company's Cauchari-Olaroz project is now the third largest lithium brine deposit in the world, trailing only the Uyuni deposit in Bolivia, and the Atacama deposit in Chile, which is currently the largest producing brine resource.

The validation of the size and quality of the resource represents another significant milestone achieved by Lithium Americas since the Company began to define the Cauchari-Olaroz properties in mid-2009, and puts the Company on track to complete its Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") in the first quarter of 2011. In addition to the PEA, the Company expects to complete a two-well production drilling program by December 2010, followed by the completion of a third pumping test well once pumping dynamics from the two-well program have been ascertained. The Company has successfully completed the construction of an on-site lab and pilot-scale evaporation ponds, which are currently producing lithium carbonate at laboratory scale. Large scale pilot ponds in the salar are also under construction and will be used to simulate the lithium/potassium brine evaporation process, further defining the path to commercial production.

"Our goal is to achieve large scale commercial production in the shortest, most efficient time frame possible," stated Dr. Waldo Perez, Ph.D., P. Geo., President and CEO of Lithium Americas Corp. "We have invested significant capital in programs designed to maximize our knowledge of the Cauchari-Olaroz resource. Our level of understanding of the geological and hydrological characteristics and productive potential of this resource can only be compared to the large scale lithium carbonate producers in the area. Given the momentum of our development to date, and the recognition from independent industry sources indicating that Cauchari-Olaroz is the top lithium brine project in the region, we remain confident that, subject to final feasibility, Lithium Americas will achieve its goal of initiating mine construction in 2012."

The Cauchari-Olaroz resource was estimated using accepted industry-standard methods that conform to National Instrument 43-101. Results were estimated with a block model developed using ordinary kriging techniques.

The following table highlights the largest known lithium brine resources worldwide, compiled from publicly available data and to the best knowledge of Lithium Americas:

  Company Location   Category   In situ Lithium Metal Resources (in tonnes)   Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (in tonnes)  
  Comibol (state) * Uyuni, Bolivia (A)   Inferred   5,500,000   29,040,000  
  SQM ** Atacama, Chile (B)   Probable   2,700,000   14,256,000  
Proven   2,700,000   14,256,000  
  Lithium Americas Corp.*** Cauchari - Olaroz, Argentina (F)   Inferred   512,800   2,708,000  
Indicated   458,300   2,420,000  
Measured   546,300   2,884,000  
  Sentient Group* Rincon, Argentina (E)   Inferred   1,403,000   7,407,840  
  Zhabuye Lithium* Zhabuye, China (C)   Inferred   1,397,727   7,379,999  
  FMC** Hombre Muerto, Argentina (A)   Proven/Probable   850,000   4,488,000  
  Rockwood** Atacama, Chile (A)   Proven/Probable   500,000   2,640,000  
  CITIC Guoan* West Taijinair, China (C)   Inferred   441,287   2,329,995  
  Orocobre* Olaroz, Argentina (D)   Inferred   282,000   1,488,960  
  Rockwood** Silver Peak, USA (A)   Proven/Probable   100,000   528,000  
  Western Mining Group* East Taijinair, China (C)   Inferred   90,909   480,000  
                   
  (A) Data from Roskill, 2009  
  (B) SQM : US SEC report Form 20 F 2009  
  (C) Data from Dr. Haizhou Ma, Institute of Salt Lakes, China  
  (D) Orocobre JORC report quoted by Houston, 2010  
  (E) Fowler and Pavlovic, 2004  
  (F) Present 43-101 Report  
  * Exploration Stage Project  
  ** Producing Mine  
  *** Exploration Stage Project with 43-101 Resource Estimate   
     

Mark King, Ph.D., P. Geo., of Groundwater Insight Inc., a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 has read and approved the contents of this release. 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, 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.

For more information please visit www.lithiumamericas.com.

This press release uses the terms 'measured resources', 'indicated resources' and 'inferred resources' which are terms recognized and required by Canadian regulations (under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects). Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in these categories will be converted into reserves. In addition, 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 the 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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