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Nevada Could Be the Next Big Supplier of Lithium

Bloomberg reports that the four companies that provided 88% of the world’s lithium in 2015 can’t keep up with the rising demand for the metal. The next big rush of lithium could be coming from Clayton Valley in Nevada, United States.

The article is titled The Great Nevada Lithium Rush to Fuel the New Economy. It also points out the following predictions about lithium from banks and consultants:

1) Deutsche Bank and Macquarie Research believe the demand for lithium will increase 60% to 150% in the next few years.

2) UBS Group expects electric cars to account for 9.2% of global light vehicles sales by 2025. The percentage stands at 1% right now.

3) Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. suggest that the market for lithium in energy storage could be bigger than in all other products combined.

Moreover, Bloomberg reports that the prices of lithium have been soaring and contract prices for lithium have increased five times. At least six junior miners have taken up spots in Clayton Valley to profit from the booming prices.

Tesla alone needs enough lithium to power 500,000 cars per year by 2020. Another reason the lithium projects in Nevada seem poised for growth is that Tesla’s Gigafactory is only a three to four-hour drive away from Clayton Valley. Of course, some projects are closer to the Gigafactory than others, but all of them have an advantage over lithium suppliers from other countries: transporting the lithium will be less cumbersome and less expensive.

It seems that Nevada – formerly known for silver mining – may become one of the main suppliers of lithium in a few years.

An article called A Lithium Gamble That Could Win Big for Tesla in Fortune magazine is also positive about Nevada: “Anyone who successfully sucks out untapped lithium brine in Clayton Valley and turns it into a valuable product used in batteries could become incredibly wealthy.”

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