We are poised for a massive change in energy consumption, moving away from fossil fuels to electric. The key to that will be the ability to store power – and use it on demand – with electric batteries.

Lithium is a critical element in modern technology, particularly in the production of batteries for consumer electronics and electric vehicles. Nevada is home to several lithium mining operations, as well as companies that produce lithium-ion batteries and recycle lithium-ion batteries.

Nevada is the state that has the infrastructure, technology and business acumen to dig lithium out of the ground, turn it into electric lithium batteries and recycle them for future use.
Ford Motor Company signed an agreement to acquire lithium from Nevada. The deal calls 7,000 tons of lithium carbonate per year. Ford also signed an agreement with Carson City-based Redwood Materials for lithium battery recycling.

General Motors said last Tuesday it will invest $650 million into Lithium Americas as part of an agreement to develop a mine in Nevada.

In my email last week, I mentioned that Tesla has secured rights to 10,000 acres near the Nevada Gigafactory where it plans to produce lithium from clay deposits.
One of the largest lithium mines in Nevada is the Silver Peak mine, operated by Albemarle Corporation. The mine is located in the Clayton Valley, and has been in operation since 1966. It is the oldest lithium producing mine in the world. The mine is also one of the largest lithium producers in the world, producing about 7,500 tons of lithium carbonate per year.

Our energy security is threatened by our need to import 70% of the lithium we use from China. The lithium is mined in Chile and Australia and then shipped to China. China then processes it and exports the final product to the U. S. The electric car industry will grind to a halt if China cuts off the lithium for political reasons. And it will affect any industry that uses lithium in batteries, such as those in cellphones.

We need to expedite lithium mining and domestic processing for both environmental and energy security reasons.
American Battery Technology Co.'s Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Plant is set to open in Fernley during 2023. The battery recycling project is huge, with a 100,000 square-foot floor plan. The project is valued at $30 million, according to Recycling Today.

The plant would start recycling 20,000 metric tons of lithium-ion batteries per year, before scaling up to handling 100,000 metric tons annually. The latter amount alone would match the number of lithium-ion batteries that were recycled in all of 2018 globally, according to London-based Circular Energy Storage.

Aqua Metals has announced plans for a recycling campus in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC). The company says it will be designed to process more than 20 million pounds of lithium-ion battery material each year.

Redwood Materials, which was founded in 2017, also recycles lithium-ion batteries in Northern Nevada and is in the midst of a significant expansion.
If you buy a new lead-acid battery today, 80% to 90% of the metal in that battery came from an old battery. Currently, only about 5 percent of used lithium-ion batteries are recycled, according to a report published by Princeton University - and that’s about to change.

The technology to be able to recycle batteries is going to really revolutionize the industry. Nevada is in the driver's seat because not only do we have raw lithium that we can produce batteries for, but we also have battery companies.

Recycling will also be necessary to maintain the lithium supply.

The world's lithium-battery market is expected to grow by a factor of 5 to 10 in the next decade, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's 2021 National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries.