Albemarle Corp., Charlotte, NC, has announced it will expand capacity at its Silver Peak, NV, lithium production facility. The global specialty chemical company will begin a program to evaluate clays and other available resources in Nevada for commercial lithium production. Lithium carbonate is a key component in advancing green mobility and sustainability, as the material is used in creating batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). The North American automotive industry is seeking a secure and sustainable domestic supply of lithium for EVs.

The Silver Peak location produces lithium from brine extracted from the Clayton Valley basin. The company will invest $30 to $50 million to double production by 2025, making full use of the brine water rights currently held. In 2021, the company will explore other sources and technologies that could accelerate the viability of lithium production from other clay sources in the region.

The company also has lithium sources in Arkansas and at Kings Mountain, NC, and is working with the US Department of Energy on research with Argonne National Laboratory to streamline production of lithium hydroxide from brine resources. (5/21)