Lithium Americas more than doubles resources at Thacker Pass
(Kitco News) - Lithium Americas (TSX: LAC) (NYSE: LAC) today announced an increase of 118% in the mineral resource estimate to 18.1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent for the Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, Nevada, USA.
According to the company's statement, an updated mineral resource consists of 13.7 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent grading 2,231 parts per million lithium (ppm Li) of measured and indicated and 4.4 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent grading 2,112 ppm Li of inferred resources.
The company said that an updated mineral resource estimate incorporates the Southwest Basin, change in cut-off grade and additional drilling since the 2018 measured and indicated resource estimate of 6.0 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent at 2,917 ppm Li and inferred resource estimate of 2.3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent at 2,932 ppm Li.
Additionally, Lithium Americas said it continues to advance the ongoing feasibility study targeting an increased initial production capacity to 40,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of lithium carbonate from 30,000-35,000 tpa, previously.
Importantly, the company added it plans to include an expansion scenario to target total capacity of 80,000 tpa of lithium carbonate.
"The addition of a 40,000 tpa expansion is designed to demonstrate Thacker Pass' ability to scale production and align with potential customers' and partners' longer-term demands," the company noted.
Permitting process on track with final decision expected in Q1 2022, with all key State permits are expected to be released for public comment in Q4 2021. At the Federal level, a court hearing on the appeal of the Record of Decision is expected to take place in February 2022, with the ruling to follow shortly thereafter, the company pointed out.
Lithium Americas expects that early-works construction to commence in H1 2022, including roads, site preparation, water line and additional infrastructure to condense and de-risk the overall construction schedule.