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U.S. Lithium Supply Drying Up?

The country's only lithium hub may be losing its only producer...

Written by Keith Kohl
Posted December 17, 2015

By now, our readers will know all about Tesla’s Gigafactory and its massive need for lithium compounds.

The factory will be in production in a matter of months, and will be making Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack batteries, as well as the more affordable lithium batteries for the company’s commercially-priced Model 3 car.

But did you know the U.S. itself only has one lithium hub? It’s fairly close to where the Gigafactory is being built, for obvious reasons.

However, there is one more thing to take into account… the only currently working mine, the Clayton Valley Silver Peak Mine, may not be in production much longer.

Clayton Valley LithiumThe mine has been worked since 1960, and some believe that it’s reaching retirement age.

At the moment, its operating company, Albemarle, is not willing to confirm or deny this claim, so for now the mine still stands.

However, with the new influx of demand from Tesla and the possibility that the long-standing grandfather lithium mine may be losing steam, new companies are entering the area to stake their own claim on the market.

Some of these include Pure Energy Minerals — which has already entered a buying agreement with Tesla — Nevada Sunrise Corp., Matica Enterprises and Dajin Resources.

Ashburton Ventures Inc., a Canadian mineral company, has claimed one section in Clayton Valley that it is calling the “Elon” lithium claim.

This single hub in Nevada is becoming the site of the lithium gold rush, and it’s a massive opportunity for companies and investors alike.

Now, the U.S. is by no means the biggest lithium supplier. It is actually far behind Australia, Chile, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Portugal, and Brazil.

But understand, lithium demand is only expected to grow. Stormcrow Capital has estimated that by 2025, 50% of the world’s lithium demand will be in rechargeable batteries, up from its 2013 level of 29%.

With that kind of a jump in just a single use for lithium, Stormcrow expects that demand could outpace supply for the commodity by 2023.

That means more suppliers will be needed, and new supplies will become all the more economical. Brines are the popular production source now, and lithium clays are being developed.

For more details on this subject, simply click here to read the Las Vegas Review Journal article.

Until next time,

Keith Kohl Signature

Keith Kohl

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A true insider in the energy markets, Keith is one of few financial reporters to have visited the Alberta oil sands. His research has helped thousands of investors capitalize from the rapidly changing face of energy. Keith connects with hundreds of thousands of readers as the Managing Editor of Energy & Capital as well as Investment Director of Angel Publishing's Energy Investor. For years, Keith has been providing in-depth coverage of the Bakken, the Haynesville Shale, and the Marcellus natural gas formations — all ahead of the mainstream media. For more on Keith, go to his editor's page.

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