Shearman & Sterling Advises U.S. Department of Energy in $2.25 Billion Conditional Financing of Thacker Pass Lithium Carbonate Processing Plant

Shearman & Sterling advised the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office on a conditional commitment to Lithium Americas Corp’s subsidiary, Lithium Nevada Corp., for a $2.26 billion loan to help finance the construction of a lithium carbonate processing plant at Thacker Pass in Humboldt County, Nevada.

This is a key project for the critical minerals supply chain for the automotive industry, as the project’s lithium carbonate is anticipated to support the production of up to 800,000 electric vehicles (EVs) annually.

The project, which is located next to a mine site that contains the largest-proven lithium reserves in North America, is also supported by an equity investment into Lithium Americas from General Motors, which is expected to be a long-term primary lithium carbonate buyer for the processing plant.

While DOE’s conditional commitment indicates its intent to finance the project, Lithium Nevada Corp must satisfy certain technical, legal, environmental, and financial conditions before DOE enters into definitive financing documents and funds the loan. The conditional commitment to finance the project was announced by DOE on March 14, 2024 in a press release.

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