Albemarle doubling Nevada lithium production in supply boost for EV market

by Michael Green
Albemarle 'committed to providing domestic support for growing EV market'.
Albermarle is preparing to double production at its lithium facility in Nevada by 2025 to boost supply for North America’s electric vehicle battery market.

The company will invest $30m-$50m (£22m-£37m) at its Silver Peak site in Clayton Valley – and evaluate clays and brine resources in the region that could further "accelerate” commercial production of lithium.

Albermarle’s president for lithium, Eric Norris, said the site was "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.”

Research project

Albermarle did not give latest production data, but Reuters quoted BMO Capital Markets analyst Joel Jackson as saying the plans would expand the operation – which produces lithium from brine extracted from the Clayton Valley basin – to 10 kilotonnes (kt) of lithium carbonate equivalent from 5 kt.

Albermarle is investing in a process to streamline production of lithium hydroxide from brine resources through a US Department of Energy-sponsored research project with the Argonne National Laboratory.

In addition to Silver Peak, Albemarle's domestic resources include lithium-containing brines in Arkansas and a lithium site in the 800-acre Kings Mountain region of North Carolina, which the company said is one of the richest spodumene ore deposits in the world and home to the company's global lithium technical centre and piloting operations.