TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 15, 2012) - Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX:LAC)(OTCQX:LHMAF) ("Lithium Americas" or the "Company"), is pleased to announce that the Provincial Environmental Agency of Jujuy Province, Argentina ("UGAM") has recommended approval of the Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") for the construction of the Company's Cauchari-Olaroz lithium/potash project. Lithium Americas has previously obtained definitive mining title as well as secured long term land use agreements with the five aboriginal communities on which its Cauchari-Olaroz mine will be built and the reserve estimate is calculated.
Following the UGAM recommendation for approval, the project proposal is now being reviewed by the Provincial Committee of Experts for submission to the Governor of Jujuy for final construction approval. This is the only remaining administrative step required to be fully permitted to build and operate the Company's lithium/potash project in the province of Jujuy.
"Receiving approval from UGAM for our EIS is a key milestone in the final permitting process for the Cauchari-Olaroz project," stated Dr. Waldo Perez, President and CEO of Lithium Americas. "We have continued to work closely with the Committee of Experts and all the agencies involved in the permitting process during the EIS approval, as proven by the short period between submission of the EIS in December 2011 to UGAM and their positive recommendation 8 months after. We anticipate receiving the Committee of Experts recommendation for the project in the near term. We are very pleased to have the sign-off from all the members of UGAM and appreciate their diligence throughout the process."
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, and a completed definitive Feasibility Study identified that Lithium Americas' operating cost per tonne of lithium carbonate is expected to be one of the lowest in the industry. Mitsubishi Corporation and Magna International are shareholders in the Company, in addition to both companies having off-take arrangements with Lithium Americas.
Cautionary Note and Forward-looking statements
This press release contains forward looking statements, which can be identified by the use of statements that include words such as "plan", "developing", "estimate", "could", "potential", "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "likely", "will" or other similar words or phrases. Forward-looking statements express, as at the date of this press release, the Company's plans, estimates, forecasts, projections, expectations, or beliefs as to future events or results. Forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions, including the key assumptions and parameters on which such estimates are based, involve risks and uncertainties and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Factors that could cause results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, possible variations in mineral resource and reserve estimates, grade/concentration or recovery rates, lithium or potash prices, operating or capital costs; availability of sufficient financing to fund planned or further required work in a timely manner and on acceptable terms; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated or other unanticipated difficulties or interruptions; political, community relations, regulatory, environmental and other risks of the mining industry and other risks more fully described in the Company's Annual Information Form dated May 26, 2012 and its most recent management's discussion and analysis available on SEDAR. The Cauchari-Olaroz project has no operating history upon which to base estimates of future cash flow. The capital expenditures and time required to develop any new project is considerable and changes in capital and/or operating costs or construction schedules can affect project economics.
It is possible that actual capital and/or operating costs may increase significantly and economic returns may differ materially from the Company's estimates or that prices of lithium and/or potash may decrease significantly or that the Company could fail to obtain the satisfactory governmental approvals necessary for the operation of a project or obtain project financing on acceptable terms and conditions or at all, in which case, the project may not proceed either on its original timing or at all. It is not unusual in the mining industry for new mining operations to experience unexpected problems during the start-up phase, resulting in delays and requiring more capital than anticipated. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results to be materially different from those planned, estimated, forecasted, projected or expected. 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.