Lithium Argentina names Pigott as CEO

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Lithium Americas (Argentina) Corp. [LAAC-TSX, NYSE] has named Sam Pigott as President and CEO. The company said the appointment will take effect on March 18, 2024.

Pigott succeeds John Kanellitsas (executive chairman, president and interim CEO) who will continue in his role as executive chairman of the board.

The appointment was announced after the close of trading on February 26, 2024, when Lithium Argentina shares closed at $5.49. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $13.44 and $5.18.

Lithium Argentina is an emerging producer of lithium carbonate for use primarily in lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles. The company, in partnership with Ganfeng Lithium, is ramping up production of the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project in Argentina and developing additional lithium resources in the region.

The company owns 44.8% of Cauchari-Olaroz through its interests in Minera Exar S.A. Lithium Argentina also has a pipeline of development and exploration projects, including Pastos Grandes and Sal de La Puna, both located in the Pastos Grandes basin in Salta province approximately 100 kilometres south of Cauchari-Olaroz.

Pastos Grandes is 100% owned by the company, while Sal de la Puna is 65% owned. The company is advancing development plans for these assets, including evaluating opportunities to achieve synergies through joint development.

The company said Pigott has gained a solid understanding of Lithium Argentina’s operations and development plans through his roles as the Chairman of the Shareholder committee at the joint venture entity, Minera Exar, which holds the Cauchari-Olaroz project, and as a member of the senior leadership team of Ganfeng Lithium, the company’s partner at Cauchari-Olaroz.

“I look forward to the company’s next phase of transition and growth, including the ramp-up of operations at the Cauchari-Olaroz project,’’ he said.

Following the achievement of first lithium carbonate production in June, 2023, Cauchari-Olaroz has been consistently producing lithium carbonate as commissioning and ramp-up continue, the company said recently. Production is currently achieving 99.5% lithium carbonate content with technical quality specifications approaching battery quality.

The project produced approximately 6,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate in 2023, exceeding the company’s previous guidance of 5,000 tonnes. The first shipment left Argentina in early October (2023) with regular shipments continuing since then.

Lithium Argentina said it plans to release its fourth quarter and full-year 2023 financial results, including an update on production guidance for 2024, after market hours on March 21, 2024.

Lithium is the lightest of all metals and is essential for powering a low-carbon future. Lithium is a key material in lithium-ion batteries and stands up well to repeated charging and discharging (including enabling fast-charging), delivers higher energy density and offers more usable capacity than other battery types.


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