US-based junior miner Lithium Americas expects the final step in the permitting process for its Thacker Pass project in Nevada to be released on January 15 by the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a company representative told Fastmarkets.
The Thacker Pass project is 100% owned by Lithium Americas, which is also advancing the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in northern Argentina in partnership with China’s Gangfeng Lithium.
The Cauchari-Olaroz project will have an average expected production of 40,000 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate equivalent and production is slated to start in 2022.
“We continue to progress on completing engineering for the project and expect to complete that by mid-year,” chief executive officer and president of miner Lithium Americas Jonathan Evans told Fastmarkets on Friday January 8.
Lithium is a key ingredient in the manufacturing of batteries for EVs and energy storage systems, and lithium demand for both uses is expected to soar in the coming years.
“Thacker Pass has the potential to provide future sources of high-quality lithium chemicals critical for establishing a strong domestic lithium supply chain required to support a low-carbon economy, “ Evans said in a statement on December 4.
Fastmarkets’ lithium hydroxide monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, spot price cif China, Japan & Korea stood at $8.50-9.50 per kg on Thursday January 7, down from $9.50-11 per kg on January 9, 2020.
Market participants expect demand for lithium hydroxide to increase in the coming years, coinciding with the development of higher-performance batteries and vehicles with longer driving ranges.