PROMISING NEWS ABOUT OUR PRECARIOUS LITHIUM SUPPLY
EV demand has exploded. But the U.S. and Canada must overcome a huge obstacle. Without adequate domestic lithium supplies, we could face unimaginable supply chain shortages of the batteries needed to power those cars, as well as cell phones, computers and many other devices.
We need solutions, quickly. Fortunately, explorers have made a promising new lithium discovery, which may soon help to reduce our growing dependence on China and other lithium-producing countries. A lot is happening in Nevada that’s really positive for the lithium industry. Clayton Valley, Nevada is currently the only region where lithium is produced in the United States.
New lithium brine source
ACME Lithium is one step closer to helping meet our growing lithium demand. Backed by some of the top lithium investors and institutions in North America, the company has discovered a new lithium brine source in Clayton Valley. It is contiguous to the Albemarle Silver Peak Lithium Mine, which has been in production since 1966.
Water samples analyzed independently at a nationally recognized lab show great promise, and have similarities in content and grade to lithium produced at nearby Silver Peak. There are only a handful of lithium brine discoveries in the United States. This discovery is incredibly significant.
ACME is immediately proceeding with phase two of the project, which will further establish the suitability of this discovery to become a viable lithium resource. That would ultimately lead to feasibility studies as well as local, state and federal permitting to go into production.
Caring for the environment
Lithium deposits can be found in aqueous brine, as well as in trace amounts in hard rock and clay. Should this project come to full fruition, ACME intends to use a technology called direct lithium extraction (DLE) because of its major environmental advantages.
New technology is enabling us to extract resources in a more sustainable and environmental way. With DLE, lithium brine is brought up from aquifers underground, piped through a small plant where the lithium is extracted, then the water is returned to the aquifer through an injection well. This method has the smallest footprint and the lowest environmental impact.
In a 2021 statement, the White House commented on the critical need for lithium and cobalt stating: “As the world transitions to a clean energy economy, global demand for these critical minerals is set to skyrocket by 400–600 percent over the next several decades.” Based on what we see happening right now, the timeline needs to be shortened.
Lithium has strong potential to benefit communities by creating jobs and providing the funding for our roads, schools and overall infrastructure. As countries rush to secure a long-term supply of lithium, the U.S. and Canada can—and should—exert leadership positions.