“With the federal permitting process complete, our focus is on advancing the financing process including discussions with potential strategic partners,” chief executive officer and president of miner Lithium Americas Jonathan Evans said in a statement on Friday.

The BLM released the final environmental impact statement on the project on December 4.

“We continue to progress on completing engineering for the project and expect to complete that by mid-year,” Evans told Fastmarkets on January 8.

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.

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 December.

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 14, down from $9.50-11 per kg on January 23, 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.