The Clayton Valley: Nevada’s Lithium Hotspot

Here's a closer look at Nevada's Clayton Valley and some of the lithium companies operating there.

clayton valley

The lithium space has certainly been getting plenty of attention as of late, with investor excitement largely driven by rising lithium prices and increasing demand from the lithium-ion battery sector.

Analysts believe that over the next several years lithium demand will increase by 60 to 250 percent — and that the metal will sell for 50 percent or more above historical levels.

For that reason, many companies are currently on the hunt for new sources of lithium. Most of the world’s lithium is currently produced in Australia, Chile and Argentina, but more recently there’s been a veritable lithium rush in Nevada as well.

That’s partially because Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) has announced plans to build a massive lithium-ion battery gigafactory in the state. The fact that the Clayton Valley is home to the Silver Peak mine, the only producing lithium brine operation in the US, also doesn’t hurt. Silver Peak is currently owned by Albemarle (NYSE:ALB).

Read on to learn more about the Clayton Valley and the lithium companies operating there.

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A brief overview of the Clayton Valley

According to a report on lithium brine deposits from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Clayton Valley covers roughly 100 square kilometers, but has a catchment area of approximately 1,400 square kilometers. That’s because the Clayton Valley sits lower than at least four adjacent basins, all of which are hydrologically linked.

“In this case, it is the combined area of all five linked catchments that matters, making the effective area of the Clayton Valley Li-brine system much larger,” the report explains.

The USGS calls the Clayton Valley “the best-known deposit in the world” for lithium, citing a number of factors indicating lithium resource potential in the area. Those include:

  • A closed, tectonically active basin
  • An arid climate
  • Elevated heat flow due to hot springs or young volcanoes
  • In the 1970s, the USGS noted that hectorite was believed to exist in the basin

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Companies in the Clayton Valley

There is certainly ample reason for lithium companies to be interested in the Clayton Valley. Here’s a list of some of the lithium companies that currently have lithium projects in the Clayton Valley:

Beyond that, there are a number of companies with projects that are not quite in the Clayton Valley, but that are still relatively nearby in Nevada. They are:

Some of the companies on the list are fairly advanced, whereas others have only recently staked claims in the valley. For example, Pure Energy Minerals completed a resource estimate for its Clayton Valley project in July 2015 and has signed a conditional lithium supply agreement with Tesla.

It’s also worth noting that other companies, such as Dajin Resources, started exploring for lithium in Nevada well before all of the recent excitement around the mineral began.

In any case, there are plenty of junior miners for investors to comb through should they look to Nevada for a lithium play. Of course, only time will tell which companies in the valley will succeed.

Did we miss any lithium companies operating in the Clayton Valley? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates.

This article was originally published by the Investing News Network in 2016.

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Advantage Lithium, Cypress Development, Dajin Resources, Enertopia, Eureka Resources, LiCo Energy Metals, Nevada Energy Metals, Nevada Sunrise Gold, Noram Resources and Sienna Resources are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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  • with process and new jobs and a big influx of population ,where is the water going to be coming from ,.Lake Mead just about can handle what they have now and the quafier is not much anymore springs is depleting fast .I hope to hear back from on this matter .Thank You Patrick Paes

  • Hi one of the company’s not on your list is CAENEUS MINERALS LTD. ASX:cad they are an Australian company. ps i like your site

    about to start drilling in Lida Valley..BLMs approved..should be on your list..has a vast amount of area , surprised it is not listed..

  • MacArthur Minerals seem to well onto something in the Lida Valley adjacent to Clayton Valley

  • A perfect play is Uranium Resources Inc. Nasdaq URRE. Company is both in uranium and in lithium.
    Stock way undervalued. Very good volumes.

  • Dear Priscila Barrera ,

    I enjoyed reading your newspaper article on Clayton Valley.

    You asked to forward you any comment if something is missing.

    There is a company not mentioned in your list of companies involved in the Clayton Valley.

    This company is Spearmint Resources Inc

    This company has acquired many claims in July 2016.

    I would appreciate if you can update your list to incorporate Spearmint Resources Inc

    Many thanks

    • Priscila

      Hi Pierre,

      Thank you for your comment. I’ve looked into your suggestion to add Spearmint Resources to the article. After doing some research, I found that they have entered into an agreement to acquire interests in the area, but it seems they have not closed this deal yet. Please let me know if you have any other information about this company closing this agreement, otherwise we will be happy to add them to our list once they reach that point.

      Kind regards,

  • Hi Reedy Lagoon ASX.RLC and Lithium Consolidated ASX.LI3 both have land 10km to the northwest of Albemarle in Big Smoky Valley. Good Article.

    • Priscila

      Hi Nick,
      Thank you for your comment! We have added Reedy Lagoon and Lithium Consolidated to the list.


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