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USA: The Clayton Valley Lithium Project, empowering America’s lithium independence

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Century Lithium wants to boost US lithium production for the growing electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage industries through its flagship Clayton Valley Lilithium Project.

The company wants to establish a home lithium source through its flagship Clayton Valley Lithium Project in Nevada. This project, which is fully owned by Century Lithium, represents a considerable step toward securing an affordable, widespread, and long-lasting lithium supply.

This Project taps into a sizable lithium-bearing claystone deposit and is recognized as the second most innovative lithium initiative in Nevada. Through its extraction facility in Amargosa Valley, Nevada, which processes materials from the lithium project, Century Lithium is advancing this fascinating resource potential even further.

Century Lithium positions itself to support the US in its pursuit of fresh energy goals through the local production of high-purity lithium carbonate. The company provides an update on the Project and its importance in private lithium production after making significant progress throughout 2023.

The Clayton Valley Lithium Project: Empowering America's lithium  independence

The importance of maximizing US salt production capabilities

For a number of economic, technological, and strategic reasons, establishing private lithium production in the US is essential.

In the fast growing field of clean energy, salt acts as a linchpin, especially in the creation of lithium-ion batteries, which power electric vehicles and store solar energy from sources like solar and wind.

The US must develop its own lithium resources for the following reasons:

Decreased reliance on outside sources

Now, the US greatly imports lithium, primarily from nations like Chile, Argentina, and Australia. Financial risks, political vulnerabilities, and probable supply chain disruptions are all present when these foreign sources are overused.

By establishing local production, these risks are reduced, resulting in a steady and safe environment.
supply of lithium for the growing fresh energy projects of the country.

Increasing job creation and financial growth

Investing in local lithium production creates employment opportunities and promotes economic expansion. Jobs are created in related industries like refining, manufacturing, and technology development in addition to mining.

This boosts the nation’s competitiveness in the world fresh energy market and stimulates regional economies.

Energy security and scientific advancement

A self-sufficient lithium supply chain promotes innovation in technology. It enables research and development into battery technologies, energy storage solutions, and more effective extraction techniques.

By reducing reliance on fossil fuels, this innovation strengthens regional energy security while also advancing the spotless energy sector.

Benefits to the environment and climate

The nation’s objectives of lowering carbon emissions and battling climate change are aligned with private lithium production.

It contributes to a cleaner environment and lessens the carbon footprint of conventional fossil fuel-based transportation and energy generation by promoting the switch to electric vehicles and alternative energy storage.

Corporate significance in international markets

Controlling a portion of the lithium supply chain gives the US leverage and clout in international markets as the world moves toward fresh energy.

It positions the nation as a major player in establishing partnerships, influencing the development of fresh energy technologies, and maintaining its competitive edge in the world economy.

In essence, establishing local lithium production entails strengthening the country’s economic stability, scientific advancement, and global leadership in clean energy rather than only securing a vital resource.

Why do Nevada’s lithium projects need to be built?

Nevada plays a crucial role in the production of lithium for the United States and is strategically important to the search for long-term energy solutions worldwide.

Nevada is well known for its vast lithium deposits, and due to the rising demand for this crucial element in the production of batteries, its importance in lithium production resonates across many industries.

The state is a hotspot for lithium extraction due to its extensive lithium-rich brine and clay deposits in its geographical makeup. Nevada’s abundant lithium resources support local production and make a sizable contribution to the global supply chain for goods made with lithium.

The country’s efforts to lessen its reliance on foreign sources are strengthened by the abundance of lithium in Nevada, which also ensures a more self-reliant and robust supply chain for essential technologies.

Nevada’s dedication to innovation and environmentally friendly lithium extraction practices further supports its crucial position. Nevada is a leader in the quantity and concerned lithium production thanks to ongoing research and development initiatives aimed at improving extraction techniques and reducing environmental impact.

The state’s contribution to the local lithium supply is consistent with larger nationwide goals like decarbonization and the development of clean energy technologies. Nevada’s contribution is n’t limited to its economic prowess; it also represents an important component of the solution to a greener, more sustainable future.

Its status as a center for lithium extraction highlights the state’s crucial contribution to the development of cleaner, more environmentally friendly energy landscapes both domestically and internationally, as well as the powering of not merely vehicles and gadgets.

The Clayton Valley Lithium Project of Century Lithium becomes a significant player in the US pale gold portfolio within Nevada’s great lithium landscape.

Resource potential for the Clayton Valley Lithium Project

The Clayton Valley Lithium Project, which encompasses 5,585 acres in north central Nevada, is owned solely by century lithium.

In close proximity to a lithium brine basin, this site is home to an important claystone resource that is abundant in lithium.
This resource sits atop Pliocene lakebed sediments and is protected from erosion by the geologic formation of Angel Island. Surface exposure makes exploration and development easier.

Characteristics of resources and processing benefits

The lithium-bearing claystone boasts mineralization within montmorillonite and iolite clays and can be found at depths of 467 feet. Importantly, tank leaching and counter current decantation revealed an effective extraction method through mechanical testing.

In comparison to hectorite-bearing deposits, which require energy-intensive processes like roasting and high acid usage, this method ensures over 85 % lithium recovery.

The resource’s favorable geology, particularly its broad and smooth nature and surface exposure, creates a mine plan with little overburden. Surface mining requires no drilling or blasting and a lower strip ratio of 0.29:1, which simplifies extraction.

Modern strategies and prospects for the future

At its Pilot Plant in Amargosa Valley, Nevada, Century Lithium is deliberately processing materials from Clayton Valley. After interior studies, the company switched from a sulphuric acid-based approach to one based on chloride.

This proper change has significant advantages in terms of economic, process effectiveness, and environmental stewardship. Operations at the Pilot Plant produce crucial marketing samples and provide crucial data for the continued feasibility study, encouraging discussions with prospective partners.

Century Lithium now has private producer status as a result of this development, which represents an important step toward meeting the rising demand for lithium in expanding markets while putting eco-friendly extraction techniques first.

Results of the feasibility study

A thorough feasibility study for the project was launched in February 2022 under the direction of Wood PLC ( Wood ) and renowned partners like Century, WSP USA Environment Infrastructure Inc., and Global Resource Engineers. The goal of this study was to assess the viability and potential of the Project.

According to the study’s timeline, significant progress has been made. Resource estimates, mine planning, processing plant design, waste storage strategies, and more important facilities are just a few of the important components that Wood and its collaborators have made substantial progress toward completion.

In September 2022, Century Lithium made a significant development that marked an important turning point. They were able to successfully extract lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) from lithium-bearing claystone obtained from the Claystone Valley Lithium Project with an exceptional purity of 99.94%.

By utilizing an intermediate focused lithium solution at Century Lithium’s Pilot Plant and crucial contributions from Saltworks Technologies Inc. in designing the processing system and carrying out pilot work for Li2CO3 production, this accomplishment was made possible.

All production procedures were carried out in an integrated pilot plant that replicated full-scale production by using materials straight from the project. Third-party analyses revealed a purity exceeding 99.9 weight percent, confirming excellent quality and demonstrating an impressive achievement in line with industry benchmarks.

Notably, the resulting lithium carbonate met specific requirements for enhanced battery-grade Li2CO3 suitable for applications in electric vehicles and outperformed standard battery’s lithium grade (99.5 % purity ). These results indicate that, depending on particular application requirements, lithium battery manufacturers may be suitable.

Additionally, Saltworks carried out a secondary testing phase that looked at lithium production from the blowdown-brine stream. This revolutionary move could significantly lower material volumes for recycling in the direct lithium recovery plant, potentially reducing its size and capital costs.

As a result, Li2CO3 becomes the compelling end-product for the feasibility study, and Saltworks is positioned to offer engineering and design support during the last stage of the production process.

Century Lithium is at the forefront of bolstering the United States lithium production capabilities by taking advantage of the project’s limitless potential.

It’s a crucial step in the direction of scientific advancement, financial resiliency, and international leadership in clean energy. Century Lithium blazes a revolutionary course for its business and the country’s goals in fresh energy by utilizing the lithium-rich landscape of Nevada and developing ground-breaking extraction techniques

Verónica Castro-Allende

With a rich background in urban technology and IoT, Veronica brings a unique blend of expertise and innovation to our platform. Her work focuses on integrating advanced engineering solutions into smart city infrastructures, emphasizing sustainable and efficient urban development. Her insightful contributions shed light on the future of urban living, blending technical prowess with practical urban applications

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