Canada-based miner Lithium Americas said on Monday it was exploring a separation of its Us and Argentinian operations by creating an independent public company focused on the Thacker Pass lithium project in Nevada.
The Thacker Pass project, approved by former US President Donald Trump’s administration in January last year, could become the largest US source of lithium – a metal that has surged in demand globally due to its use in electric vehicles.
But the project faces opposition in a federal court from some indigenous tribes who ask for the approval to be overturned. Lithium Americas said last week it expects the final court decision on the matter by September end.
The company’s main operations in Argentina are centered around the Caucharí-Olaroz lithium brine project that it jointly owns with China’s Ganfeng Lithium. The operation is set to complete construction this year.
With both the assets progressing towards production, the company said it had begun studying the viability of a spinoff.
“While no final decision has been made, we believe a separation could enable each of our businesses to maximize and accelerate their strategic objectives, with dedicated focus and increased financial flexibility,” CEO Jonathan Evans said in a statement