High Demand and Prices for Lithium Send Mines Into Overdrive: Silver Peak, Nevada, which is halfway between Reno and Las Vegas, has long been the sole producer of lithium in the United States. Now the mine is in the process of doubling its output, and facing new rivals as demand for lithium surges, as Camila Domonoske reports for NPR. The new competition is coming from mines proposed in the United States and abroad, and growth by foreign producers. “We’re doing everything in our power to keep up with our customers’ demand, and I know most of our competitors are, too,” said Meredith Bandy, the vice president of investor relations and sustainability at Albemarle, the company that owns Silver Peak. Demand is growing because lithium is an essential ingredient for the lithium-ion batteries that power EVs and battery storage systems.
Lithium Nevada Corp.’s mine at Thacker Pass near the Oregon line, 200 miles northeast of Reno, has pitted environmentalists and Native Americans against President Joe Biden’s plans to combat climate change. The mine would involve extraction of the silvery-white metal used in electric vehicle batteries…
Lithium Nevada officials say the Thacker Pass mine’s reserves would support lithium for more than 1.5 million electric vehicles per year for 40 years. Conservationists say the open pit mine, deeper than the length of a football field, will pollute the groundwater and destroy precious habitat for sage grouse, pronghorn antelope and other species in violation of environmental laws.
Elsewhere in Nevada…
The Center for Biological Diversity and the Amargosa Conservancy said in a lawsuit filed July 7 that the project on the edge of the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge outside Las Vegas posed an illegal risk to a dozen fish, snail and plant species currently protected under the Endangered Species Act.
They filed an additional motion this week in federal court seeking a temporary injunction prohibiting Rover Metals from initiating the drilling of 30 bore sites…
But before a judge in Las Vegas could rule on the request, the Bureau of Land Management notified Rover Metals on Wednesday that its earlier acceptance of the company’s notice of its intent to proceed “was in error.”
We are discussing non issues given time.
How prevalent is lithium in the world?
More than half of the estimated global lithium resources are located in the salt flats of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, much of that in Bolivia. It is estimated that there are 89 million tonnes of lithium resources globally.Mar 9, 2023
Is lithium abundant in the US?
However, the US is home to what are believed to be the world’s largest lithium deposits after those in the so-called Lithium Triangle region in South America. The states of Nevada, North Carolina, and California together host an estimated 4% of the world’s lithium reserves.Dec 15, 2022
Australia mines about 53 percent of the world’s supply of lithium, and virtually all of it is sold to China. But now the Australian government wants to break the world’s dependence on China for processing the minerals driving the green revolution.May 23, 2023
Albemarle and Livent report earnings next week. Aug 2 & 3. We are hoping for good numbers from increased production.
Lithium prices bottomed from the recent high last fall and seem to have stabilized but are down a bit. As with oil, commodity prices seem to be a major factor in share price.