Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway plans lithium extraction from geothermal operations

Geothermal plant, Salton Sea/ California (source: flickr/ monikomad, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 21 Jan 2019

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is working on plans to extract lithium from brine of its geothermal operations in the Salton Sea in California, U.S.

As the Financial Times reported yesterday, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has been working on plans to move into lithium. The company plans on extracting the mineral from wells from geothermal operations of Berskhire in the Salton Sea, California.

There are hopes to produce up to 90,000 tonnes. Supposedly there are discussions ongoing with Tesla. The company though denied reports and said that there is currently no agreement in place to allow for the extraction of lithium from its geothermal wells in California.

In a fundraising document, cited by the Financial Times, describes the Salton Sea as potentially one of the largest lithium resources in the world.

The project is valued at around $2.5 billion. The company founded around the possible venture is called Salton Sea Industries.

This is only part of a wider story of work on lithium extraction at the Salton Sea. In the past Simbol Materials was working on it, EnergySource operator of a geothermal plant in the area secured some funding for lithium work, Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) has been working on it, and there are supposedly other parties on the target as well.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co. through MidAmerican Energy/ CalEnergy, operates 10 geothermal facilities in the Salton Sea/ Imperial Valley area of California.

Source: Financial Times, EJinsight