ACME Lithium (TSX-V: ACME) (OTCQB: ACLHF) has begun drilling at its Clayton Valley Nevada brine project, which is located to the northwest of Albemarle’s (NYSE: ALB) Silver Peak mine, the only lithium brine operation in production in North America.
The company said it had contracted Harris Drilling Exploration and Associates to provide drilling services and related activities.
Phase 1A will focus on drilling up to 500 meters to assess lithology, permeability features, clay, sand and gravel content, and lithium brine potential.
Brine samples will be collected from a temporary, monitoring well at depth intervals and then independently analyzed for lithium, boron, and other minerals typical of lithium enriched brine systems.
The well will be plugged and abandoned upon completion of testing or within 60 days from completion of drilling, the junior miner said.
ACME Lithium has a second project in Nevada’s Esmeralda County, Fish Lake, which together with Clayton Valley are located within 322 km or a three and a half hour drive from Tesla’s Gigafactory.
Most of the world’s current lithium output is locked away in long term deals as downstream chemicals producers, battery makers and EV companies are frantically trying to secure future supply.
The world’s top automakers, from Tesla to Volkswagen to Toyota, have said they need an ever-growing supply of battery materials to accelerate the roll-out of EVs.
Experts expect demand for the battery metal coming from the sector to account for almost three quarters of its consumption by 2030, up from 41% in 2020. They have also warned that the world’s shortage of lithium would last for another three years at least, but with the cancellation of Rio Tinto’s (ASX: RIO) Jadar project in Serbia, the shortfall is now expected to last for several years.