Lithium Americas Announces Financial and Operating Results

Lithium Americas Announces Financial and Operating Results for the
Three Months Ended August 31, 2012 
- Announced Completion of Positive Definitive Feasibility Study
Confirming Cauchari-Olaroz as One of the World's Largest and Lowest
Cost Lithium Brine Resources 
- Received Approval of Environmental Impact Statement. Final
Government Approval to Proceed With Construction and Production
Expected in Q4 of Calendar Year 2012 
- Negotiations With Strategic Partners Regarding Project Financing
Have Commenced, and Are Expected to Conclude Within Q4 of Calendar
Year 2012 or Early in Calendar Year 2013 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 10/15/12 -- Lithium Americas
Corp. (TSX:LAC)(OTCQX:LHMAF) ("Lithium Americas" or the "Company")
today reported that it has filed its interim financial reports,
including the unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial
statements and management discussion and analysis, as at, and for the
three months ended, August 31, 2012. These documents are available in
the SEDAR database at and on the Company's website All amounts are expressed in Canadian
dollars, unless otherwise indicated. 
Results For The Period 
During the three months ended August 31, 2012, the Company incurred a
net loss of $1.2 million (August 31, 2011 - $2.1 million). Loss per
share for the quarter amounted to $0.02 compared to $0.03 in the same
period of 2011. General and administrative expenses during the first
quarter amounted to $0.34 million (August 31, 2011 - $0.47 million),
losses on foreign exchange were $0.01 million (August 31, 2011 -
$0.07 million), while share-based compensation expense, a non-cash
item totalled $0.2 million (August 31, 2011 - $0.6 million). 
As at August 31, 2012, the Company had $2.3 million in cash and cash
equivalents and positive working capital of $0.7 million, and $8
million available under its stand-by line of credit to fund current
"With our definitive Feasibility Study complete and the pilot plant
operational, our attention has been focussed on obtaining final
government approval and on securing our project financing," said
Waldo Perez, President and CEO of Lithium Americas. "The global
market for lithium continues to be supported by strong demand
batteries of all sizes, from hand held electronic devices to large
scale grid storage, creating upward pressure on lithium carbonate
prices. The scale and projected low operating cost of the
Cauchari-Olaroz project is expected to make us extremely competitive
in this growing market." 
Operational Highlights 
During the three months ended August 31, 2012, the Company announced
the following significant developments associated with the
advancement of its principal property: 
Announcement of Definitive Feasibility Study Results 
According to the Reserve Estimate outlined in the definitive
Feasibility Study ("FS"), Lithium Americas' Cauchari-Olaroz property
has proven and probable reserves sufficient to operate at a
production rate of up to 40,000 tonnes per annum ("TPA") of lithium
carbonate and up to 80,000 TPA of potash for 40 years, which would
include an initial five year ramp-up period. Consistent with the
Company's previously released Preliminary Economic Assessment,
Lithium Americas' business plan is to build the project in two
stages, with each stage consisting of a 20,000 TPA lithium carbonate
facility and a 40,000 TPA potash facility. The second stage is not
expected to commence until 2018 and it will be the subject of a
separate study to be undertaken by the Company. Stage 2 is expected
to improve the already robust project financials for stage 1, as
outlined in the FS. No estimated financial results associated with
stage 2 are included in the FS results identified below. 
The FS results identify that Lithium Americas is expected to have one
of the largest and lowest cost lithium operations in the industry and
calculates a base case pre-tax net present value ("NPV") of US$738
million, assuming an 8% discount rate, and an after-tax NPV of US$464
million. The base case pre-tax Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") is 23%
and after-tax IRR is 20%. The FS estimates cash operating costs for
lithium carbonate at US$1,876 per tonne, or US$1,332 per tonne if
expressed on a net cash operating cost basis (ie if the cash
operating margin benefits of potash are deducted from the cash
operating costs of lithium carbonate (which is customary in the
mining industry when reporting the costs of the main product vs the
The FS was prepared by the independent engineering firm ARA
WorleyParsons ("ARAWP"), the hydrogeologic modelling experts
AquaResource, a division of Matrix Solutions Inc., ("AQR"), and by
hydrogeology expert Groundwater Insight ("GWI"). The FS builds upon
the Company's Preliminary Economic Assessment, also prepared by ARAWP
and GWI and filed in May 2011. The FS, dated July 11, 2012 and titled
Feasibility Study Reserve Estimation and Lithium Carbonate and Potash
Production at the Cauchari-Olaroz Salars, Jujuy Province, Argentina,
can be found on SEDAR at 
Approval of Environmental Impact Statement 
The Provincial Environmental Agency of Jujuy Province, Argentina has
approved the Environmental Impact Statement for the construction of
the Company's Cauchari-Olaroz lithium/potash project. Lithium
Americas has previously obtained definitive mining title as well as
secured long term land use agreements with the five aboriginal
communities on which its Cauchari-Olaroz reserve estimate was
calculated and its project will be built. 
Final government approval to proceed with construction and production
is expected in Q4 of calendar year 2012, and involves the
recommendation of the Provincial Committee of Experts constituted to
assess the impact and benefits to the Province of lithium projects. 
Change of Financial Year End 
The Company has changed its financial year end from February 28 to
December 31, resulting in a ten month transitional financial year
from February 29, 2012 to December 31, 2012. This change will allow
Lithium Americas to align its financial year end with that of its
wholly-owned Argentinean subsidiary, Minera Exar S.A., thereby
simplifying accounting and consolidation activities. It will also
align the Company's financial reporting with its operational and
budgeting cycles. A Notice of Change in Year End has been filed under
the Company's profile on SEDAR at 
As a result of this change, the Company will not issue interim
financial statements as at and for the nine months ended November 30,
2012, in line with its previous financial year end, and will next
issue audited annual financial statements as at and for the ten
months ended December 31, 2012. 
About the Company 
Lithium Americas is developing one of the world's largest and lowest
cost lithium operations. The Company has defined the world's third
largest lithium brine resource, and a completed definitive
Feasibility Study identified that Lithium Americas' operating cost
per tonne of lithium carbonate is expected to be one of the lowest in
the industry. Mitsubishi Corporation and Magna International are
shareholders in the Company, in addition to both companies having
off-take arrangements with Lithium Americas. 
Cautionary Note and Forward-Looking Statements 
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which can be
identified by the use of statements that include words such as
"plan", "developing", "estimate", "could", "potential", "believe", 
"expect", "anticipate", "intend", "likely", "will" or other similar
words or phrases. Forward-looking statements express, as at the date
of this press release, the Company's plans, estimates, forecasts,
projections, expectations, or beliefs as to future events or results.
Forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions,
including the key assumptions and parameters on which such estimates
are based, involve risks and uncertainties and there can be no
assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate. Therefore,
actual results and future events could differ materially from those
anticipated in such statements. Factors that could cause results or
events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or
implied by the forward-looking statements, include, but are not
limited to, possible variations in mineral resource and reserve
estimates, grade/concentration or recovery rates, lithium or potash
prices, operating or capital costs; availability of sufficient
financing to fund planned or further required work in a timely manner
and on acceptable terms; changes in project parameters as plans
continue to be refined; failure of equipment or processes to operate
as anticipated or other unanticipated difficulties or interruptions;
political, community relations, regulatory, environmental and other
risks of the mining industry and other risks more fully described in
the Company's Annual
 Information Form dated May 28, 2012 and its most
recent management's discussion and analysis available on SEDAR. The
Cauchari-Olaroz project has no operating history upon which to base
estimates of future cash flow.
The capital expenditures and time required to develop any new project
is considerable and changes in capital and/or operating costs or
construction schedules can affect project economics. It is possible
that actual capital and/or operating costs may increase significantly
and economic returns may differ materially from the Company's
estimates or that prices of lithium and/or potash may decrease
significantly or that the Company could fail to obtain the
satisfactory governmental approvals necessary for the operation of a
project or obtain project financing on acceptable terms and
conditions or at all, in which case, the project may not proceed
either on its original timing or at all. It is not unusual in the
mining industry for new mining operations to experience unexpected
problems during the start-up phase, resulting in delays and requiring
more capital than anticipated. Although the Company has attempted to
identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there
may be other factors that cause results to be materially different
from those planned, estimated, forecasted, projected or expected. The
Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligations, to
update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise, unless otherwise required by
applicable securities laws. Readers should not place undue reliance
on forward-looking statements. 
The mineral reserve and resource figures referred to herein are
estimates only and no assurance can be given that the anticipated
tonnages and grades/concentrations will be achieved, that the
indicated level of recovery will be realized or that mineral reserves
could be mined or processed profitably. There are numerous
uncertainties inherent in estimating mineral reserves and mineral
resources, including many factors beyond the Company's control. Such
estimation is a subjective process, and the accuracy of any reserve
or resource estimate is a function of the quantity and quality of
available data and of the assumptions made and judgments used in
engineering and hydrogeological interpretation. In addition, there
can be no assurance that lithium and/or potash recoveries in small
scale laboratory tests will be duplicated in larger scale tests under
on-site conditions or during production. Lower market prices,
increased production costs, reduced recovery rates and other factors
may result in a revision of its reserve estimates from time to time
or may render the Company's reserves uneconomic to exploit. Reserve
data are not 
indicative of future results of operations. If the
Company's actual mineral reserves and mineral resources are less than
current estimates or if the Company fails to develop its resource
base through the realization of identified mineralized potential, its
results of operations or financial condition may be materially and
adversely affected. Evaluation of reserves and resources occurs from
time to time and they may change depending on further hydrogeological
interpretation, drilling results and mineral prices. Mineral
resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated
economic viability. Until mineral reserves and resources are actually
mined and processed, the quantity of mineral reserve and resource
grades/concentrations must be considered as estimates only.
Lithium Americas Corp.
Mike Cosic
VP Corporate Development