American Lithium says US funding will shore up nascent industry

Nearby town of Tonopah, Nevada. Credit: American Lithium

American Lithium Corp.’s top executive is seeing promising signs that the US government is ready to ramp up funding for the domestic supply chain of battery metals, just as demand for electric vehicles surges.

“In the last year or so we’ve started to see things really start to move,” Chief Executive Officer Simon Clarke said Tuesday in an interview at Bloomberg’s Toronto bureau. There’s “more and more money available from the government to help kick-start a nascent industry.”

The Vancouver-based firm has development-stage lithium projects in Peru and Nevada when demand for the silvery white metal is soaring. The Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which earmarked $391 billion for domestic energy and climate initiatives, is designed to help battery-metals projects through loans and tax credits, but the timing of such assistance remains to be seen.

Booming global EV sales have boosted lithium consumption, leaving suppliers unable to keep pace with demand and driving up prices of the battery metal to record highs last year. EV makers are hoping that an imminent wave of lithium supply is on its way to provide relief for their expansion plans.

Clarke, 57, said he soon expects some “very meaningful tax credits” for domestic producers of critical minerals. American Lithium is spending more time in Washington, DC, lobbying for help developing its deposit in Nevada.

“It’s definitely going to be more and more on the agenda for us to head down there,” he said.

(By Jacob Lorinc, with assistance from Joe Deaux and Yvonne Yue Li)

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