Lithium Americas gets $113m for Cauchari-Olaroz project, Argentina
Lithium Americas has closed the investment agreement with BCP Innovation and secured $113m in funding for development of the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in Jujuy Province, Argentina.
The company will use the investment to undertake construction activity at the project.
The agreement includes a private placement equity financing and a debt facility, with an offtake contract signed in January.
Lithium Americas CEO Tom Hodgson said: "Together with the recent Ganfeng investment, Lithium Americas has raised $285m in debt and equity and is in a strong financial position to fund our remaining share of Cauchari-Olaroz’ capital costs alongside our joint venture partner, SQM.
"With development now well underway, we remain on track to reach production by 2019 with the objective of becoming the next low-cost lithium producer from brine."
BCP Innovation is a wholly owned subsidiary of petrol refining company Bangchak Corporation Public Company.
In accordance with the private placement process, Bangchak was offered 50,000,000 Lithium Americas common shares for gross proceeds of $33m.
The addition of the latest share offering will increase Bangchak’s holding in the company to 70,300,000 common shares, or around 16.4% of its issued and outstanding common shares.
Under the debt facility terms, Bangchak has agreed to offer a loan of $80m to Lithium Americas to fund a portion of Cauchari-Olaroz’ construction costs.
In exchange for the debt financing, Bangchak has been granted a 20-year offtake contract to purchase 20% of the company’s share of the first stage of production from the project.
During the first stage, the project will see a production of 25,000t per annum of battery-grade lithium carbonate for a period of 40 years.