Thursday, 30 May 2013

Lithium Americas to be platinum sponsor of "Lithium In South America" seminar; project ranks second best

Lithium Americas Corp. (TSE:LAC) says it will be a platinum sponsor at the Lithium in South America International Seminar next month, which is expected to draw a number of international investors. 
The seminar, which will also draw suppliers and consumers of lithium, will take place on June 12 and 13 in Jujuy, Argentina. 
The company told investors Wednesday that attendees will be invited to participate in a site visit of the company's Cauchari-Olaroz project and pilot plant operation. 
"This is a great opportunity for international investors to visit the province of Jujuy and witness first hand why the province has experienced such remarkable growth in the mining industry in recent years," said Lithium Americas' vice-chairman, Franco Mignacco, in the release. 
"Given the seminar will be attended by a broad range of industry participants, investors will be able to see the lithium industry working in a fully co-operative and mutually-supportive way."
The company also highlighted that according to the most recent findings of signumBOX, a Chilean consulting firm, the Cauchari-Olaroz project is ranked the second best undeveloped lithium brine project in the world out of 47 brine projects evaluated. 
Jujuy province in Argentina, according to the findings, is the home of the top two undeveloped lithium lithium brine projects in the world. 
"We are pleased to see the high relative ranking in the signumBOX analysis as it is consistent with our view that Cauchari- Olaroz represents a project of world-class scale, with a low cost profile, and outstanding infrastructure that exists within the Jujuy province," said the company's interim chief executive, John Kanellitsas, who will officially take over as chief when current CEO Dr. Waldo Perez steps down at the annual general meeting next month. 
Kanellitsas is also the chief operating officer of investment management firm Geologic Resource Partners - Lithium Americas' largest shareholder. He has been a director of Lithium Americas since 2011, and has worked in financial markets and asset management for over two decades in San Francisco, New York, and Sun Valley. He is also a director of Kiska Metals Corp. 
Kanellitsas spoke excitedly about his new role when the move was announced earlier this month, and of the current prospects in the lithium sector, saying the company believes lithium demand will continue to grow significantly from advances in battery technologies related to electric vehicles and grid storage applications.
The company has obtained all necessary government permits to start project construction at its Cauchari-Olaroz project in Argentina, with financing discussions now underway. 
It has said that it has had "numerous" parties review contents of its data room, with the process generating "strong and continuing interest from a number of potential partners" globally, despite the difficult financing climate.              
Mitsubishi Corporation and Magna International are shareholders in the company, in addition to both companies having off-take arrangements with Lithium Americas.

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