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Energy Storage

Compass pauses development of its US lithium mine while Ioneer’s advances

by Matt Blois
November 9, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 37


Compass Minerals says it is pausing development of a lithium mine on Utah’s Great Salt Lake because of state regulations that the firm says introduce new obstacles for the project. Compass already extracts potassium, sodium, and magnesium from brine at the site. The company says that it’s hopeful future regulatory developments will make it easier to pursue lithium extraction. It is also seeking a partner for the project. Meanwhile, the battery materials firm EcoPro will work with the mining company Ioneer to develop a process for extracting lithium from clay at a mine Ioneer is developing in Nevada. If successful, EcoPro would develop a commercial-scale plant to refine lithium hydroxide from the clay. The US Department of Energy agreed in January to give Ioneer a $700 million loan to pay for on-site lithium processing as long as the project gets permits and meets other conditions. The company expects a permitting decision next year and hopes to open the mine by 2026.


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