The US Bureau of Land Management gave final approval on Friday to Lithium Americas’ (TSX: LAC) (NYSE: LAC) Thacker Pass lithium mine, located 100 km northwest of Winnemucca, in Humboldt County, Nevada.
The project is host to the largest known lithium resource in the US. It is designed as a two-phase open-pit project, with production capacity that could reach 60,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) per annum over a 46 year-mine life.
The company now plans to seek financing for the project, which could be producing lithium by October 2022.
“The issuance of the ROD is the culmination of over 10 years of hard work from the Thacker Pass team, as well as the BLM and other federal, state and local agencies, all of whom worked tirelessly to ensure their respective commitments to environmental stewardship and community engagement,” Jon Evans, Lithium Americas CEO said in a media release.
Applications for key state permits and water rights transfers have been submitted, with results expected later this year, the company said.
Lithium Americas previously said it plans to spend $400 million on the first phase of the Thacker Pass project, with initial output of 20,000 tonnes of lithium annually. The mine is expected to open by 2023.
The approval comes in the waning days of US President Donald Trump’s administration, during which a raft of mining projects have been approved.
Midday Monday, Lithium America’s stock was up 18% on the TSE. The company has a C$3.2 billion market capitalization.