NV: Chemetall Begins Expansion of Chemetall Foote Lithium Operation in Nevada
9 Aug, 2010
SILVER PEAK, Nevada, July 12, 2010—Chemetall has announced that its subsidiary Chemetall Foote Coroporation has begun the expansion of its lithium production operation in Silver Peak, Nevada. The project is funded in part by a $28.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to expand and upgrade the production of lithium materials for advanced transportation batteries.
The Chemetall Foote operation, which is the only operating domestic lithium resource in the US, extracts lithium salts by brine evaporation in the Clayton Valley. The brine is pumped from salt-rich aquifers beneath the desert and evaporated in large ponds on the desert surface. The concentrated brine is then pumped to a production plant at Silver Peak where it is converted into lithium carbonate, the basic raw material for lithium compounds.
In the next few months, Chemetall Foote will begin a well drilling program to double the capacity of its lithium carbonate production. The Department of Energy grant is also being used to install a geothermal power plant which the company expects will make the operation self sufficient for electric power. The company believes that the reduced energy costs will increase the global competitiveness of the operation and that the combination of solar and geothermal energy should supply more than 98% of the energy requirements at the site.
As of June 2010, twenty new jobs have been created either at Chemetall Foote or contractors directly working on projects for the site. During the peak of construction in 2011 and 2012, the project will employ fifty additional people between the company and its contractors. At the conclusion of the project in 2013 the site will employ fifty people, doubling the number of employees in 2009. As previously announced, the project is part of a $56.8 million expansion of Rockwood’s lithium capabilities in the United States.
Chemetall is the world's leading manufacturer of lithium-based compounds and an innovative developer of metal-based fine chemicals for use in specialty applications. Chemetall's lithium-based compounds are used in a variety of high growth applications, including base chemicals for numerous industries, drug intermediates, elastomers for car tires and rubber soles, lithium batteries, thermoplastic materials and high performance greases. Chemetall has lithium production facilities in the United States, Chile, Germany and Taiwan.
Chemetall is part of Rockwood Holdings, Inc., a leading global specialty chemicals and advanced materials company. Rockwood has a worldwide employee base of approximately 9,500 people and annual net sales of approximately $3 billion. The company focuses on global niche segments of the specialty chemicals, pigments and additives and advanced materials markets. For more information on Rockwood, please visit www.rocksp.com.
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