Tesla Inc. secured its own lithium mining rights in Nevada after dropping a plan to buy a company there, according to people familiar with the matter.
The automaker held discussions in recent months with Cypress Development Corp., which is seeking to extract lithium from clay deposits in southwest Nevada, but the parties didn’t reach a deal, the people said, asking not to be named because the information isn’t public.
The electric carmaker, which has vowed to slash its battery costs by 50 per cent, instead focused on the plan that Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk outlined last week to dig for lithium on its own in the state.
Producing lithium from clay has so far proven difficult and costly. No company has been able to produce commercial quantities using the practice. But a push into mining is at the center of Tesla’s plan to cut battery costs and deliver on a promise to bring a $25,000 electric car to market.
Musk told investors last week that Tesla has secured access to 10,000 acres of lithium-rich clay deposits in Nevada and planned to use a new, “very sustainable way” of extracting the metal.
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