Primary Resource Development
Strengthening Domestic Supply
Recycling alone will not meet the increasing demand for battery metals. New primary extraction technologies that are socially responsible and have fewer environmental impacts are needed. Recycling facilities must be supplemented by domestic low-cost and low-environmental impact primary battery metal manufacturing facilities in order to establish a truly secure closed-loop circular battery metals supply chain and decreasing US dependence on foreign imports. That is where we come in.
Tonopah Flats Lithium Exploration Project
While a critically important field, the magnitude of the entire battery recycling industry combined cannot on its own meet the nearly insatiable near-term demand for these critical and strategic battery metals. Recycling facilities must be supplemented by domestic low-cost, and low-environmental impact, primary battery metal manufacturing facilities in order to establish a truly secure closed-loop circular battery metals supply chain.
If left unchecked, the United States’ over-dependence on foreign critical battery mineral supply chains will lead to severe economic and national security problems and unintended consequences.
ABTC has been designing and optimizing our internally developed sustainable lithium extraction process for the manufacturing of battery cathode grade lithium hydroxide from Nevada-based sedimentary claystone primary resources. We currently are in the final stages of our lithium exploration program for our Tonopah Flats Lithium Exploration Project and have identified significant lithium mineralization covering a large portion of the project area.
First-of-Kind Primary Extraction Technology
Our primary resource development efforts are currently being scaled up to a multi-ton per day field demonstration system through the support of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office Critical Materials Innovation program.
Once built, the site will utilize our in-house developed primary extraction process including selective leaching, targeted purification, and electro-chemical production of battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate from this unique domestic claystone resource. This first-of-kind ABTC technology has proven in laboratory testing to significantly reduce chemical reagent consumption and environmental impact.
Environmental and Social Benefits of Domestic Supply
Securing a domestic supply chain further empowers the United States to lessen the negative environmental and social consequences of critical minerals development. Overseas supply chains have the potential to disregard key U.S. human rights and environmental standards, so sourcing from these entities alone undercuts our ability to meet these objectives.
Current battery metal mining practices can result in the emission of large amounts of greenhouse gases, criteria pollutants like carbon monoxide, and contaminated water and soil. From cobalt mining’s connection to child labor and human rights violations, to wastewater pollution, to the utilization of high amounts of water for lithium brine extraction in areas that are vulnerable to drought, the issues raised by commercial battery metals operations abroad are numerous. While we have little control over how foreign suppliers acquire the highly sought-after battery materials, we do have the ability to support domestic operations that consider environmental and ethical outcomes and impacts.
ABTC’s in-house developed extraction technologies do not require the harmful and inefficient evaporation ponds associated with conventional lithium-from-brine mining. Our extraction process utilizes a selective leaching process for the low-cost extraction of lithium from claystone sedimentary resources that allows for significantly lower consumption of acid, lower levels of contaminants in the generated leach liquor, and lower overall costs of production.
ABTC is committed to engaging in multi-stakeholder engagement initiatives and working to implement sustainability standards throughout the entire supply chain.