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Lithium Carbonate
Posted by: freeradical
Date: February 05, 2022 03:06PM

In the U.S. hunt for lithium, an essential component of the batteries that power electric vehicles and cellphones, one big untapped source might be bubbling under a giant lake in Southern California.

The U.S. currently imports almost all of its lithium, but research shows large reserves in underground geothermal brines—a scalding hot soup of minerals, metals and saltwater. The catch: Extracting lithium from such a source at commercial scale is untested.

At California’s Salton Sea, three companies, including one owned by Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc., are pushing ahead with plans to do just that. Those efforts are backed by money from governments eager to secure supplies of critical minerals that are key to several modern technologies. Prices of lithium recently rose at their fastest pace in years as supply-chain bottlenecks mounted and demand from electric-vehicle makers such as Tesla Inc. TSLA 3.61% intensified.

The plans could turn this southeastern corner of California into one of the largest producers of what some call “white gold” at a time when most of that material comes from Australia, Chile and China. The geothermal reservoir under the Salton Sea area is capable of producing 600,000 metric tons a year of lithium carbonate, according to estimates from the California Energy Commission. That level of output would surpass last year’s global production.
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Re: Lithium Carbonate
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: February 05, 2022 10:31PM
Yes, I’ve been seeing stories about this in the L.A. Times.

Side question, one I’ve asked before: Why the heck do people quote articles without linking to them or at least providing a citation?

It is what it is.
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Re: Lithium Carbonate
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: February 07, 2022 01:58PM
The articles I've seen about this all lack one important detail;
How much of extracting the Lithium from Lithium Carbonate is known industrial process, and how much is "hand-wavium" from the speculators?
I'll get excited by this when someone shows that the process is one that is economical to do, and practical to set up near the Salton Sea.

Paul F.
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.



Eureka, CA
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