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USA: US Moving to Reclaim Leadership in Lithium Production

Two plants in North Carolina and Nevada are the beneficiaries of the Obama Administration’s quest to reclaim a leadership position in lithium manufacturing, a key component of electric vehicle batteries and consumer electronics.

The US was a leader in lithium production during the 1990s, but it now imports the majority from sources in South America, just as demand for lithium has risen rapidly.

Lithium batteries are also important for their ability to integrate renewable energy into the grid.

The Department of Energy (DOE) made a $28.4 million investment in Rockwood Lithium, a division of Rockwood Holdings (NYSE: ROC) to expand US capacity. The investment, made through the Recovery Act, came to fruition in June, when Rockwood opened its expanded manufacturing plant in North Carolina. An expanded plant in Nevada opens soon. Rockwell leveraged DOE’s investment by more than $46 million in additional private sector funding.
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