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USA: Expanded North Carolina Lithium Facility Opens, Boosting U.S. Production Of A Key Manufacturing Material

WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–June 29, 2012. Today, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recognized the opening of Rockwood Lithium’s expanded manufacturing facility in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Rockwood is leveraging a $28.4 million investment from the Recovery Act to expand its North Carolina lithium production facility as well as its production operations in Silver Peak, Nevada. This project will create 100 new jobs and dramatically increase the United States’ capacity to produce lithium, which is a key material in a number of growing industries, including advanced vehicle batteries and consumer electronics. The federal investment leveraged more than $46 million in additional private sector funding as part of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive strategy to grow American manufacturing in clean energy technologies and create jobs in globally competitive markets.

“The Kings Mountain facility expansion exemplifies American manufacturing leadership and technical expertise in clean energy technologies – helping to strengthen our nation’s energy security and create new jobs,” said Secretary Chu. “With support from the Energy Department, this project will make America more competitive in a range of new technologies and will help ensure the United States leads once again in manufacturing the next generation of clean energy and advanced vehicle technologies.”

As the market for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and other advanced clean energy technologies grows worldwide, rare earth elements and other critical materials, including lithium, are facing increasing global demand. The Kings Mountain and Silver Peak plants will produce lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate, which are both used to produce lithium-ion batteries, dramatically increasing U.S. domestic production of raw and processed lithium materials.
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