With Funds for Domestic Lithium Processing, Where is the Lithium?
The recent $2.5B Department of Energy grants will create lithium hydroxide plants in the United States. The funding is a step in the right direction to building a domestic battery material supply chain, however, it has EV-News thinking, where will the lithium come from?
Silver Peak Lithium Mine, Nevada, pictured above is owned by Albemarle and is the only US producing lithium mine. Capable of producing 5,000 tons per annum (tpa).
"The Department of Energy's grants create the capacity to process over 100,000 tpa of lithium hydroxide. The only issue is that the United States currently only mines 5,000 tpa. So, where is all the domestic lithium?" - Alan Dowden, editor-in-chief of EV-News.com
Piedmont Lithium (NYSE: PLL)
Located west of the up-and-coming EV city, Charlotte, North Carolina, the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt Lithium project will produce 280,000 metric tons of spodumene concentrate. With figures stating that spodumene can have up to 8% lithium carbonate, Piedmont's Carolina spodumene lithium project can produce 20,000 tpa of lithium carbonate. According to the chart below, Piedmont lithium will be able to mine roughly 40,000 tpa of lithium hydroxide domestically. Not including their additional 40,000 lithium hydroxide from Canada and Ghana, Africa.
Lithium Americas (NYSE: LAC)
In the northern part of Nevada, near Winnemucca, is Lithium Americas' pride and joy, Thacker Pass. Thacker Pass is the United States' largest known lithium reserve and the world's second largest. With capability of up to 60,000 tpa of lithium carbonate, tripling the size of what Piedmont lithium is able to in the Carolina-Tin spodumene project, Thacker Pass is the most important lithium project in the United States.
The oral hearing schedule for the Thacker Pass Record of Decision to be made on January 5th, 2023.
EV-News' editor in chief, Alan Dowden, has visited Thacker Pass site.
Standard Lithium (NYSE: SLI)
Mojave Project, California - 45,000 acre land that will service as an lithium brine evaporation pond. Has all the required permit. Land adjacent permitted to build a processing plant.
In the town of El Dorado, Arkansas, standard lithium has the capacity of create 30,000 tpa of lithium hydroxide with the use of their wold class Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology. Completed with a partnership with LANXESS JV, Standard Lithium already has 3 plants that processing and refining lithium where the brine is processed.
American Lithium (OTC: LIACF)
Tonopah, Nevada - Home to a mining museum and the crescent dunes solar energy project, Tonopah has baren land. Endless amounts of land and that land is rich in Lithium. Having water rights and all the correct permitting, TLC Lithium Project, is in exploration stage.
Alan Dowden visited the TLC lithium project.
Cypress Development Corp (OTC: CYDVF)
Clayton Valley, NV - Not far from Albemarle's Silver Peak Lithium Mine, Cypress Development Corp is expected to produce the equivalent of 27,000 tpa of lithium carbonate, more than what is expected per year at Piedmont Lithium's Carolina-Tin Spodumene project.
American Battery Technology Company (OTC: ABML)
10,000 acre land in Tonopah. Recently completed phase 2 of exploration. 22 total drill sites.
The writing is on the wall that the United States is building a domestic lithium supply chain. With recent investments for lithium processing and refining, one would logically expect the next wave of funding to go towards the actually mining of the lithium. The aforementioned list would bring over 100,000 tpa of lithium hydroxide in the United States. Companies like Livent, a lithium processing company in North Carolina with capabilities of producing 30,000 tpa of lithium hydroxide, will have to play an essential role in creating the domestic lithium supply chain.