Lithium Americas and General Motors Announce Construction Plan for Thacker Pass

January 31, 2023

Lithium Americas Corp. has entered into a purchase agreement with General Motors (GM) Co. in which GM will make a $650 million equity investment in Lithium Americas to produce battery raw materials. GM will now become Lithium Americas largest shareholder. The announcement came with an update on the construction plan for the Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, NV.

Highlights of the transaction include:

  • The largest ever investment by an automaker to produce battery raw materials with GM becoming Lithium Americas largest shareholder.
  • Lithium Americas to receive $650 million equity investment consisting of $320 million first trance investment for common shares representing 9.999 percent of Lithium Americas before separation and $330 million for second trance investment.
  • After the first trance investment, GM will receive exclusive access to Phase 1 production through a binding supply agreement and a right of first offer on Phase 2 production.
  • The investment supports the development of Thacker Pass, the largest known lithium resource in the United States.
  • The project is estimated to supply the lithium needed for up to one million electric vehicles.

Project highlights include advancing Thacker Pass construction plan targeting 80,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of battery-quality lithium carbonate production capacity in two phases of 40,000 tpa, respectively.

Phase 1 production is expected to commence in the second half of 2026. The project life of 40 years uses less than 25 percent of the current measured and indicated mineral resource estimate.
The awarding of the engineering, procurement and construction management contract for the construction of Thacker Pass to Bechtel Corp. Thacker Pass is expected to create 1,000 jobs during construction and 500 jobs during operations.

Project updates include the Thacker Pass feasibility study results reflect operational and process improvements including increased extraction rates from an optimized mine plan through a new ore control strategy, an increase in sulfuric acid utilization by targeting illite clay and increased crystallization steps to further remove magnesium impurities.

You can read more on the agreement here.

Photo courtesy of Lithium Americas.


Related article search: