Geothermal could profit from U.S. executive order to support Lithium mining

Hudson Ranch I geothermal power plant, March 2012, Salton Sea, California/ U.S. (source: EnergySource)
Alexander Richter 11 Mar 2018

An executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump to support mining activities for critical minerals, could present a boost to lithium mining activities in the U.S. and indirectly help some geothermal projects.

As reported recently, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the relevant federal agencies to develop a strategy to reduce the United States’ reliance on foreign sources of “critical minerals” that are used to make products deemed essential to our country’s economic and national security back in December 2017.  Lithium was named as one such mineral, as it’s crucial for producing the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs), consumer electronic gadgets, and energy-storage products.

So while this should directly benefit lithium miners, there is also an angle into the geothermal sector in the U.S. Struggling to reach previous geothermal activities, there are several mining firms looking into deriving Lithium from geothermal brine.

There are several projects in California and Nevada, that could profit from a further investor interest in Lithium derived from geothermal brine.

The Republican president’s executive order No. 13817 aims to encourage domestic production of critical minerals in order to reduce our country’s reliance on foreign sources, which “creates a strategic vulnerability” for both our “economy and military to adverse foreign government action, natural disaster, and other events that can disrupt supply of these key minerals.” The impetus for the directive was a report by the U.S. Geological Survey that concludes that foreign sources provide at least 50% of our total needs for 21 out of 23 critical minerals, including lithium. Moreover, it spells out just how dependent we are on the Chinese to supply many of these minerals.

Let us see what happens.

Source: Journal Star