Lithium Americas board approves split

The Cauchari-Olaroz project, in Argentina.

The Cauchari-Olaroz project, in Argentina.

16th May 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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The board of Lithium Americas Corp (LAC) has approved the regorganisation of the company that will result in the separation of its North American and Argentine business units into two independent public companies.

The separation, first announced in November, will establish an Argentina-focused lithium company, Lithium Argentina, and a North America-focused lithium company, Lithium Americas, or NewCo.

Shareholders will vote on the transaction at an annual meeting on July 31.

If approved, the separation will enable each business to pursue independent and unique growth opportunities. Lithium Argentina will ramp up the Cauchari-Olaroz project, pursue a Stage 2 expansion and advance the Pastos Grandes project to a construction decision.

NewCo will focus on the construction and production of Phase 2 of Thacker Pass, in Nevada.

“We look forward to the value that can be created for shareholders through Lithium Americas (NewCo)’s unique position and the development of one of the largest lithium resources in the US, as well as the value generated through Lithium Argentina’s near-term production portfolio with a significant growth pipeline from two high-quality projects,” said president and CEO Jonathan Evans.

Evans will take up the position as president and CEO of NewCo and the LAC current CFO will take up the same position in the new company.

Lithium Argentina will be headed by LAC executive vice chairperson John Kanellitsas as interim president and CEO. LAC VP of finance Alex Shulga will be CFO of Lithium Argentina.

Cited in a Reuters article on Monday, Kanellitsas said that the decision to split LAC came down to US-China relations. According to the agency, he said the split would effectively distance LAC from one of its top shareholders, Ganfeng Lithium Group. Ganfeng partnered with LAC in 2017 to help advance the project in Argentina.

Kanellistas said LAC had to cut ties with Ganfeng to build the Thacker Pass mine.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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