Lithium Americas Corp. [LAC-TSX, NYSE] said Friday it has raised US$258.75 million from a convertible senior note offering, and will used to proceeds to pay down debt.
The amount was raised after initial purchasers under a previously announced offering of US$225 million aggregate principal amount of 1.75% convertible notes due on 2027 exercised an option to purchase an additional US$33.75 million aggregate principal amount of notes.
“With the offering complete and our US$205 million senior secured facility fully repaid, we have significantly enhanced our balance sheet, while minimizing potential dilution to shareholders and reducing interest cost,’’ said Lithium Americas President and CEO Jon Evans.
On December 9, 2021, Lithium America shares closed at $43.25 and are currently trading in a 52-week range of $53.09 and $11.40.
Lithium Americas and Chinese partner Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. are working to advance the Cauchari-Olaroz project in Argentina with target production of 40,000 tonnes per annum of battery-quality carbonate development plan. The Cauchari-Olaroz project is located in the heart of the Puna Plateau, an area where over 80% of the world’s lithium brine reserves are located. This area is also known as the “Lithium Triangle.”
Aside from Cauchari-Olaroz, Lithium Americas is also focused on the Thacker Pass project in Nevada.
Thackers Pass is a pre-feasibility-stage lithium project located in Humbolt County, northern Nevada. The project is situated at the southern end of the McDermitt Caldera, approximately 100 kilometres north of Winnemucca.
In 2018, Lithium Americas completed a pre-feasibility study (PFS) on a two-phase project with a production capacity designed to reach 60,000 tonnes annually of battery-grade lithium carbonate (Li2C03) and 46-year mine life.
The PFS envisages initial phase one production capacity of 30,000 tonnes annually of battery grade lithium carbonate, commencing in 2022 and increasing in phase two to 60,000 tonnes annually by 2026.
The project will be developed as an open-pit mining operation using conventional continuous mining equipment. Given the soft clay nature of the deposit, minimal blasting and crushing is anticipated. The ore will then be processed in a leaching circuit using sulfuric acid to liberate the lithium from claystone.
Following the leaching process, lithium bearing solution will be purified using crystallizers and reagents to produce battery-quality Li2CO3.
The project has been designed to avoid environmentally sensitive and rugged terrain. The flat and expansive terrain allows for a very compact footprint and allows for future potential expansions.
A feasibility study for phase one is expected in 2022.