Albemarle to invest up to $50m to double lithium production at Silver Peak facility
Albemarle has revealed plans to invest $30m to $50m to double the capacity at its lithium production facility in Silver Peak, Nevada by 2025 in line with the increase in the global demand for electric vehicles (EV).
The US specialty chemicals company will also start a program to evaluate clays and other available resources in Nevada for the commercial production of lithium.
Albemarle’s Silver Peak facility produces lithium from brine drawn from the Clayton Valley basin. The company will start investing in the facility starting from this year to make full use of its brine water rights.
Apart from that, Albemarle will look to begin the exploration of clay this year and also study technology that could speed up the viability of producing lithium from clay resources in Nevada.
Eric Norris – Albemarle Lithium President said: “As a leader in the lithium industry, our priority is to optimize our world-class resources and production. This includes Silver Peak, a site uniquely positioned as the only lithium-producing resource in the United States.
“This investment in domestic capacity shows that we are committed to looking at the many ways in which Silver Peak can provide domestic support for the growing EV market.”
Apart from studying clay resources, Albemarle will explore ways to streamline the extraction of lithium from its brine resources, including those found in the Clayton Valley.
The specialty chemicals company via a US Department of Energy-sponsored research project with Argonne National Laboratory, is probing a process for optimizing production of lithium hydroxide, which is mainly used in EV batteries, from brine resources.
Also included in the domestic resources of Albemarle is the historic Kings Mountain lithium site in North Carolina, which is said to be among the richest spodumene ore deposits in the world.