Lithium mining has been present in America for decades, although in a minimal way. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that, although the U.S. is very rich in underground lithium resources, it currently mines and processes only about 1% of annual global lithium production.
According to that report, “China, with a huge chemical industry and low costs, unearths about 10% and processes about two-thirds of what’s dug up.”
Lithium mining and production appears likely to become a much bigger enterprise in the United States as the Biden/Harris administration implements policies designed to encourage and stimulate it.
In February, President Biden issued an executive order directing a strategic review of supply chains of critical resources, including Lithium and other minerals that are key to the ongoing growth of the electric vehicle (EV) and renewable energy sectors of the U.S. economy.
Lithium is a key element in rechargeable batteries that not only power EVs, but which must also be implemented on a mass scale if wind and solar energy are ever to become round-the-clock, reliable components of the nation’s electricity grid.