Tesla’s bi-polar lithium treatment
On 28 August Fortune published the news about Tesla Motors entering into a deal with two Sonoran mining operations, Bancora Metals and Rare Earth Metals, to supply the electric car manufacturer with lithium at below market prices. As reported, “The companies estimate that it will be able to produce 35,000 tons of lithium compounds, with a potential to grow that to 50,000 tons, when fully constructed.”
That “fully constructed” part depends on the two operations raising 117 million dollars to exploit and process the essential metal needed by Tesla for batteries, and was something of a shock to the Nevada legislature, which had just offered Tesla a billion dollars in tax incentives to locate their car factory in that state. Nevada claims to be the “lithium capital of the world” and just ASSUMED that Tesla would be buying raw materials locally as well.
Tesla’s Elon Musk weighed in, saying he was “definitely” pursuing sources in Nevada… but then again, he’s also pursuing them in Sonora. Maybe he’s of two minds about it.
Katie Fehrenbacher, “Tesla agrees to buy lithium from Mexican mine for its Gigafactory”, Fortune: 28 August 2015.
Daniel Rothenburg, “Tesla lithium deal catches state lawmakers off guard. ” Las Vegas Sun: 2 September 2015.