Water Rights Matter in Clayton Valley Lithium Fight, Nevada Sunrise Has Them
You can't mine lithium without water. It's impossible. So of the handful of companies at the center of the "lithium boom" in Clayton Valley, Nevada... none of them are going to be able to produce a drop of valuable brine unless they pay Nevada Sunrise (TSX-V: NEV). Other than Albemarle, which operates the only producing lithium operation in Clayton Valley, and is a $9.5 Billion company, no one else has any water rights in the area.
As was announced a few weeks ago, Albemarle is contesting Nevada Sunrise's "application to transfer the Place of Use and Point of Diversion of its recently acquired water right in the Clayton Valley of Nevada."
In other words, Albemarle is trying to stop Nevada Sunrise from being allowed to sell its water rights, which it is certainly allowed to do. This is just a big company flexing its muscle, letting it be known that it's watching what's going on and doesn't like people playing in its backyard.
The point it: Nevada Sunrise has a very strategic asset in their water rights. And the big boy on the block knows it. This is in addition to its lithium properties and its main business, gold exploration, where it has a highly prospective asset currently being drilled by Pilot Gold.
All in a C$10 million market cap company.
Full press release here, where Nevada Sunrise president Warrent Stanyer says:
“It would appear that Albemarle Corp. does not wish to allow future competition for lithium brine production in the Clayton Valley basin. 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. Nevada Sunrise will respond to Albemarle’s protest in due course and outline the reasons why our application to transfer a certificated water right should not be unfairly prejudiced by Albemarle’s action.
Great overview of the Nevada Sunrise opportunity in the interview here.