Biden says commercial-scale lithium extraction possible in Imperial Valley by 2026

Erin Rode | Desert Sun Link to article

Salton Sea

Drilling for lithium and geothermal has begun at the Salton Sea in an area known for goethermal energy production near Niland, Cal., November 3, 2021.

As the Imperial Valley begins its transformation into what some are calling Lithium Valley, one company says it could have lithium production at commercial scale by 2026, President Joe Biden said Tuesday at an event with Gov. Gavin Newsom, industry executives, community representatives and labor leaders.

Biden met with the group to announce several investments in domestic production of critical minerals and materials, including lithium extraction in Imperial County.

“[This announcement] is all about the belief we share that to build a truly strong economy, we need a future that is made in America,” said Biden, noting that the U.S. currently imports close to 100% of these critical minerals and materials.

An estimated 15 million metric tons of lithium, in addition to other rare minerals, are available for extraction in Imperial County, home to one of the largest lithium deposits in the world. That’s enough lithium to satisfy more than one-third of today’s global lithium demand.

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