Tesla: Electric Carmaker, Battery Maker and Now Lithium Miner - TheStreet

Tesla: Electric Carmaker, Battery Maker and Now Lithium Miner

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Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report is getting into the mining business.

The electric carmaker has reportedly secured its own lithium mining rights in Nevada after dropping a plan to buy a company there.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Tesla has secured its own rights to extract lithium – a key ingredient in long-life, high-performance batteries – after failing to reach a deal with Cypress Development Corp., which focuses on extracting lithium from clay deposits in southwestern Nevada.

The electric car maker instead plans to dig for lithium on its own in the state. Lithium has been proven abundant in clay deposits in Nevada, though producing commercial quantities in a productive and cost-efficient manner has so far proven illusive.

The move takes Tesla a step closer to its plan of mass-producing less-expensive batteries and being master of its own battery supply chain.

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk told investors at the company’s “Battery Day” event last weekthat Tesla has secured access to 10,000 acres of lithium-rich clay deposits in Nevada, and plans to use a new, “very sustainable way” of extracting the metal.

That followed pledges from the car and battery maker to produce a cheaper, lower-cost battery, build a $25,000 electric car and eventually produce 20 million vehicles a year.

Tesla in June stuck at deal to buy cobalt, another key ingredient in batteries, from Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore, the world’s biggest cobalt miner.

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