Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX: LAC) (NYSE: LAC) is pleased to announce that it has closed the previously announced transaction in which a subsidiary of Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd. subscribed for newly issued shares of Minera Exar S.A. the holding company for the Caucharí-Olaroz lithium brine project in Jujuy, Argentina.
In consideration for the newly issued shares, Minera Exar has received US$160 million in cash to continue to fund the Project’s construction activities. Upon closing, Ganfeng Lithium has increased its interest in Caucharí-Olaroz from 37.5% to 50%, with Lithium Americas holding the remaining 50% interest.
Jon Evans, President and CEO, commented, “We are delighted to complete the Project Investment with our 50/50 joint venture partner, Ganfeng Lithium, building on our long history of working together. At Caucharí-Olaroz, construction activities continue to proceed on schedule with over 600 employees and contractors mobilized at site.”
“With the Project Investment complete, we have further strengthened our liquidity and expect to release the results of a feasibility study on an expanded initial production capacity for the Project of 40,000 tonnes per annum of battery-grade lithium carbonate in September 2019.”
Upon completion of the Project Investment, Minera Exar repaid to LAC US$8.8 million of outstanding loans (which amount includes the accrued interest thereon) that were previously advanced by the Company and, as previously announced, the parties implemented certain amendments to the shareholders agreement governing the Project to reflect a 50/50 joint venture. Of the US$160 million consideration for the Project Investment, US$57 million was advanced prior to closing. The Company also executed an amended and restated offtake agreement with BCP Innovation Pte Ltd. whereby, in consideration for Bangchak’s consent to the Project Investment, in the event the Company approves an expansion of the initial production capacity of the Project from its current targeted production of 25,000 tpa to 40,000 tpa, the Company has agreed to provide incremental off-take rights in favour of Bangchak to acquire up to an additional 3,500 tpa of lithium carbonate at market prices.
About Lithium Americas:
Lithium Americas owns a 50% interest in Caucharí-Olaroz with Ganfeng Lithium holding the remaining 50% interest (each subject to the rights of JEMSE (a company owned by the Government of Jujuy Province) to acquire an 8.5% interest in Minera Exar). In addition, Lithium Americas owns 100% of the Thacker Pass lithium project located in Nevada, the largest known lithium deposit in the United States.
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