The Borate Hills Projects were drilled by US Borax in the 1980s and at the time, the company stated that the Project was the second largest boron deposit in the United States. Although US Borax initially drilled the North Borate Hills Project, discovery of the South Borate Hills Project identified a larger project with higher lithium values. The South Borate Hills Project is a strata-bound claystone unit that is approximately 1.5 miles long and up to 1,300 feet thick.
Recent sampling of the South Borate Hills Project returns boron grades of over 1% B, lithium grades of up to 0.275% Li, and Strontium credits. All other metals concentrations are low, including iron which can be deleterious for processing.
Judy Baker, Head of Property Development, Production and Acquisitions for American Lithium Minerals, stated, "The acquisition of the Borate Hills Lithium Projects in Nevada is a very significant project acquisition for American Lithium Minerals. The high test results and the extent of the formation make it one of the more promising lithium projects in the United States. In combination with the other properties we already control, it is clear that we have assumed a leadership position in the exploration of this incredibly important component for the advancement of green energy."
As a result of lithium-ion battery demand for hybrid-electric and electric cars, the increase in demand for lithium carbonate is expected to increase four-fold by 2017. High demand and low supply has already pushed lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) prices to US$6,600.00 per ton. There is currently only one producer of lithium carbonate in the United States: Chemetall’s Clayton Valley Operation. The Great Basin of the United States represents excellent potential for the discovery of new lithium brine deposits and American Lithium Minerals is well positioned for detection with both its current and four newly acquired projects.
Lithium is used for batteries, specialty glass, lubricants, pharmaceuticals and lithium alloys. Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries have become the rechargeable battery of choice in cell phones, computers, hybrid-electric cars and electric vehicles. GM, Ford, Toyota, Dodge, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Tesla, Saturn and Mercedes-Benz have all announced plans to build Li-ion battery-powered cars. Demand for lithium-powered vehicles is expected to increase fivefold by 2012. The domestic automotive industry must secure a lithium source to supply the next generation of hybrid-electric and electric vehicles. Over 60% of cell phones and 90% of laptops use lithium batteries. The worldwide market for lithium batteries is estimated at over $4 billion per year.