As the world makes a transition to sustainable electric power, the auto industry is one of the leading sectors driving towards a future powered by lithium batteries. In the U.S., where a copious amount of lithium can be found mining and extraction have not been a priority. However, in California’s Imperial Valley, near the Salton Sea, companies are racing to take advantage of the region’s deposits. The location is being called Lithium Valley.
New Plant Could Generate up to 20,000 Tons of Lithium per Year
One such company is Energy Source Minerals, which is making strides towards producing lithium using an existing electric plant fueled by underground geothermal resources. In a 60 Minutes interview, CEO Eric Spooner says the plant could generate up to 20,000 tons of lithium per year, which is equivalent to the annual production of around 500,000 electric vehicles.
With domestic lithium production, the US Department of Energy and automakers can enjoy lower production costs and reduced carbon emissions from transporting the metal across the world. The development of domestic lithium resources positions the US as a global leader in sustainable electric power.
View the entire 60 Minutes piece on CBS.com.