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Thacker Pass resource estimate revealed

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Global Mining Review,

US-focused explorer Lithium Americas has announced a resource estimate for its Thacker Pass project in Nevada, after completing a pre-feasibility study.

Argus Media reports that the project, in Humboldt County in the north of the state, has a proven and probable mineral resource of around 179.4 million t of ore, with an average grading of 3 283 ppm lithium, the company says. That gives the site an estimated lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) resource of 3.1 million t.

Based on current demand, the study proposes an onsite production facility with an initial capacity of 30 000 tpy, subsequently rising to 60 000 tpy. The first phase of construction is expected to begin in 2020, entering production in 2022, with a second 30 000 tpy line planned for construction in 2025.

China-based Ganfeng Lithium, the world's third largest lithium compound producer, holds a majority stake in Lithium Americas and invested US$174 million in the company to support project development and exploration. Ganfeng already holds offtake agreements with Australia's Pilbara Minerals and RIM and in February completed construction on a 20 000 tpy lithium hydroxide plant, aimed at supplying Chinese battery manufacturers.

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