Albemarle Corporation, a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, will expand capacity at the company's lithium production facility in Silver Peak, Nevada.
The company plans to invest $30 million to $50 million to double the current production at the Nevada site by 2025. Additionally, in 2021 the company plans to commence exploration of clay and evaluate technology that could accelerate the viability of lithium production from clay resources in the region.
"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," said Eric Norris, Albemarle President, Lithium. "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."
Company officials added they will begin a program to evaluate clays and other available Nevada resources for commercial production of lithium, a critical mineral and key component in advancing green mobility and a more sustainable future. As global demand for electric vehicles grows, North American automotive manufacturers are seeking to regionalize their supply chain for greater security and sustainability.
In addition to examining clay resources, Albemarle said it is seeking ways to optimize lithium extraction from its brine resources, including those in the Clayton Valley. Through a Department of Energy-sponsored research project with Argonne National Laboratory, the company is investigating a process to streamline production of lithium hydroxide, which is principally used in EV batteries, from brine resources.
Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Albemarle Corporation is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts.