Make Kitco Your Homepage

Overcoming the lithium crunch - Lithium America's Jonathan Evans on what tech could matter

Kitco News

Editor note Get all the essential market news and expert opinions in one place with our daily newsletter. Receive a comprehensive recap of the day's top stories directly to your inbox. Sign up here!

(Kitco News) - Lithium can travel a very long path from the mine to finished product, noted Lithium Americas CEO Jonathan Evans, and he is weighing how to shorten it.

In February Evans was interviewed by mining audiences manager Michael McCrae at the BMO Global Metals, Mining & Critical Minerals Conference.

Evans was asked about how the company was setting up its supply chains and why co-location is important, matching mining with processing.

"Look at life cycle analysis," said Evans. "If you look at the path today where lithium travels from either South America or Australia to's a very long path."

Evans said that long supply chains are exposed to geopolitical disruption. Carbon emissions also go up.

"I think manufacturers want to have control—more oversight, especially in trusted jurisdictions."

Lithium Americas is focused on advancing the Cauchari-Olaroz and Pastos Grandes projects in Argentina and the Thacker Pass project in Nevada, USA towards production.

Whether it's brine or hard rock, lithium production is challenging - Pilbara Minerals' Dale Henderson

In March Lithium Americas (NYSE:LAC) announced the commencement of construction at its 100%-owned Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, Nevada, following the receipt of notice to proceed from the Bureau of Land Management.

In a press release, the company said that Thacker Pass is targeting 80,000 tonnes per annum of battery-quality lithium carbonate production capacity in two phases of 40,000 tonnes per annum, respectively.

In January General Motors announced that it would make a $650 million equity investment in Lithium Americas to help advance Thacker Pass.

During the interview, Evans was asked what technology he is keeping an eye on that could make a difference in the sector. He identified process flow sheets that could lower water use. He also is keeping an eye on direct lithium extraction technology.

Coverage of BMO Global Metals, Mining & Critical Minerals Conference was sponsored by First Majestic Silver.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.