While showing off Tesla’s Gigafactory in the Nevada desert last year, its designers showed journalists a curious thing: One side of the factory’s massive wall could be opened up to received lithium ore one day.
Tesla said that the facility had been built with an eye toward receiving raw lithium material on one side and producing a finished battery pack on the other. The only operating lithium mine in the US is about 200 miles away in Clayton Valley, Nevada.
But Tesla is hedging its lithium bets. The Finanical Times reports (paywall) Tesla is in talks with Chile’s largest lithium producer Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) to invest in a processing plant.
Reuters quotes Chilean officials saying the two companies are “exploring” agreements for “important volumes” of lithium hydroxide, a key battery ingredient.
Chile, Australia, and China are the largest producers, although Chile is the cheapest source (and Chilean officials recently agreed to up production quotas for an SQM site).
For the rest of this article: https://qz.com/1191964/tesla-tsla-may-get-into-the-lithium-business-in-chile-as-the-price-of-battery-ingredients-soar/