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Albemarle spending up to $50M to double capacity at Nev. lithium plant

Albemarle Corp. plans to spend $30 million to $50 million starting in 2021 to double the capacity of its Silver Peak lithium plant in Nevada by 2025 amid rising demand for the battery metal.

Silver Peak produces lithium from brine extracted from the Clayton Valley basin and has an output capacity of 6,000 tonnes of lithium per year, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The North Carolina-based company said Jan. 7 that it also plans to start a program to evaluate clays and other resources in Nevada for commercial lithium production. In addition, Albemarle is investigating a process to streamline the production of lithium hydroxide from brine resources. Lithium hydroxide is mainly used in electric vehicle batteries.

Albemarle noted that its U.S. assets also include the Kings Mountain lithium property in North Carolina, and lithium-containing brines in Arkansas.