Albemarle Protests Transfer of Water Rights in Clayton Valley

June 21, 2016

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This Tuesday, Nevada Sunrise Gold (TSXV:NEV) reported that top lithium producer Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) is protesting key changes being requested for the company’s water right in Nevada’s Clayton Valley.

Nevada Sunrise is focused on advancing a number of lithium brine exploration projects in Nevada. The company has applied to transfer the Place of Use and Point of Diversion for its water rights.

Albemarle’s complaint argued that the company’s application is “vague” and does not give enough information about how the brine will be developed. It also raised concerns about the reinjection of spent geothermal fluids back into the brine, stating that it could damage the entire brine ore body, causing Albemarle to lose efficiency.

Albemarle subsidiary Rockwood Lithium operates the Silver Peak mine in Nevada, the only producing lithium brine operation in the United States. The company pointed out in its complaint that it is the largest employer in Nevada’s Esmerelda County.

“It would appear that Albemarle Corp. does not wish to allow future competition for lithium brine production in the Clayton Valley basin,” said Warren Stanyer, president and CEO of Nevada Sunrise, in a statement.  “Albemarle is the largest consumer of groundwater in the Clayton Valley, and our existing Permit, senior to many of Albemarle’s own permits, is the only remaining appropriation of groundwater in the Clayton Valley that is potentially available for a lithium brine extraction operation.”

Certainly, this is an interesting situation to watch for investors looking at junior lithium companies setting up shop in the Clayton Valley. Nevada Sunrise intends to respond to Albemarle’s complaint in due course.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Nevada Sunrise Gold is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid for content.

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Category: Energy