The graphite, lithium and cobalt sectors have all gotten a jolt from Tesla Motors' (NASDAQ:TSLA) decision to build a lithium-ion battery gigafactory, and the good news keeps rolling in for lithium juniors located in Nevada. Western Lithium (TSX:WLC), Lithium Corporation (OTCMKTS:LTUM) and Pure Energy Minerals (TSXV:PE) all saw share price jumps of between 20 and 40 percent on September 3 on suggestions that Tesla's factory would be located in Nevada, and the factory location was confirmed at a press conference in Carson City the next day. However, those gains pale in comparison to the steady rises these three companies have seen since the start of the year. One has climbed over 600 percent, another by 550 percent and the third by an impressive 240 percent. Here, Lithium Investing News takes a look at those companies and what they've been up to since the start of 2014. Western Lithium (TSX:WLC) Focused on developing its Kings Valley lithium-rich clay project in Nevada, Western Lithium has gained roughly 240 percent this year. A prefeasibility study was released for Kings Valley in December 2011, and Western Lithium received environmental approval for the mine in March of this year. In May, the Bureau of Land Management authorized the company to begin mining operations associated with Kings Valley. In tandem with the mine, Western Lithium has been working hard to develop a demonstration plant to showcase the production of lithium carbonate and by-product samples on pilot-scale equipment; the plant will also help with a definitive feasibility study for the company's patented extraction process. Certainly, the company's efforts have paid off — it announced the start up of the plant on September 8. And that's not all. Western Lithium is also targeting the production of specialty drilling fluid additives from the hectorite clay at Kings Valley, and anticipates that its Hectatone™ Organoclay plant will begin production this fall.