Albemarle announces expansion plans at Nevada lithium extraction site

US-headquartered lithium producer Albemarle Corp will double lithium carbonate output at its brine-sourced production facility, Silver Peak, based in Nevada, it said on Thursday January 7.

The lithium producer plans to invest $30-50 million starting this year to double the current lithium carbonate output at its Silver Peak facility by 2025 in support of an expected increase in lithium demand in the United States.

The company will also start an evaluation project for analyzing lithium extraction technologies in Nevada in 2021.

Albermarle is also undertaking an investigation as part of a research project sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE) exploring ways to streamline production of lithium hydroxide from brine resources.

Lithium is a critical raw material used in lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles (EV), energy storage systems and portable consumer electronics.

Albemarle’s announcement comes alongside the shift to greener mobility and North American automotive manufacturers seek to regionalize their supply chains amid increased scrutiny around security of supply and sustainability of lithium extraction.

US-based EV manufacturer Tesla In September 2020 announced during its Battery Day its plan to manufacture battery cells in-house to aid its expansion plans.

Demand for the raw material is expected to surge in the coming years while EV adoption gains pace across the world.

For example, Tesla production increased by around 39.6% year on year in 2020, while sales rose by around 35.9% over the same period, in line with the company’s guidance.

Market participants expect demand for lithium hydroxide to increase in the coming years, coinciding with the development of higher performance batteries and vehicles with a longer driving range.

Fastmarkets’ lithium hydroxide monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, spot price cif China, Japan & Korea stood at $8.50-9.50 per kg on Thursday January 7, down from $9.50-11 per kg on January 9, 2020.

Fastmarkets’ battery raw materials research team said it sees the relative weakness in hydroxide prices as being temporary and expects fast growth in demand for high-nickel ratio batteries, especially in the European and US markets, to absorb the increase in hydroxide supply before too long.

What to read next
The price of graphite flake fines in China continued to edge lower amid slow demand and a depreciation of the local currency in the week ended Thursday May 25. Spherical graphite prices in the country, meanwhile, held at the 11-year low reached in the previous session
Chinese lithium prices continued to trend upward over the past week, but at a slower pace than in previous weeks due to the emergence of bearish sentiment and resistance among consumers
Black mass purchasing in the key South Korean market was limited over the last week by middling demand in the country, while the fresh decline in Chinese lithium markets in recent days led to more caution among buyers, sources told Fastmarkets on Wednesday May 24
State-owned copper giant Codelco has created two subsidiaries to further its expansion into lithium, a metal Chile has identified as essential not only for the global energy transition but for its own future development
Putailai, one of the major anode producers in China, announced plans to invest $1.5 billion (SEK 15.7 billion) in Zichen Technology (Sweden) AB. to build Europe’s largest factory for anode manufacturing in Sundsvall in central Sweden
US carmaker Ford has secured long-term supplies of battery-grade lithium from major producers Albemarle and Sociedad Quimica y Minera (SQM)
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.