Lithium Americas breaks ground on lithium process facility in Nevada

TSX and NYSE-listed Lithium Americas yesterday marked the official opening of a lithium process testing facility in Nevada with a ground-breaking ceremony, as it looks to soon start constructing the Thacker Pass lithium project in the same US state.

The 2,800 square metres Lithium Technical Development Center, located in the city of Reno, will demonstrate the chemical process designed for the Thacker Pass project in Humboldt county.

Production of lithium product samples using the Thacker Pass flowsheet commenced last month and initial production successfully produced 5 kg of battery-quality lithium carbonate.

In addition, the new process facility will be used to conduct test work on new target ores and brines and it contains a state-of-the-art analytical laboratory capable of analysing ultra-pure lithium compounds.

“As we prepare to break ground on Thacker Pass, we have never lost sight of our broader responsibility in developing the largest and most advanced new source of lithium in the US,” said Lithium Americas president and CEO Jonathan Evans.

The new lithium facility will ‘help cement Nevada’s place as a critical hub for battery development’, he added.

With the processing facility commissioned and operational, plus all state and federal permits in place, Lithium Americas plans to proceed with early works construction for its Nevada lithium operation this year.

Thacker Pass is currently moving towards feasibility phase, targeting an initial production capacity of 40,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year, with a second stage expansion targeting a total annual production capacity of 80,000 tonnes.