US company Albemarle has announced that it will expand capacity at its lithium production facility at Silver Peak, in the US state of Nevada.

The latest move comes as demand for the ultralight battery metal is expected to increase as automobile companies across the world are racing towards producing more electric vehicles (EVs).

Lithium is a critical mineral and major component in advancing green mobility as well as more sustainable future.

Starting from this year, Albemarle intends to invest between $30m to $50m to double the current lithium production at the mine by 2025.

The company will also begin a programme to evaluate clay resources and other available resources in Nevada for commercial production of lithium.

Albemarle Lithium president Eric Norris said: “As a leader in the lithium industry, our priority is to optimise our world-class resources and production. This includes Silver Peak, a site uniquely positioned as the only lithium-producing resource in the United States.

“This investment in domestic capacity shows that we are committed to looking at the many ways in which Silver Peak can provide domestic support for the growing EV market.”

Albemarle also said that it is seeking ways to ‘optimise lithium extraction’ from its brine resources extracted from the Clayton Valley basin.

The US company also produces lithium in Chile and Australia.

In May last year, Albemarle expressed interest in acquiring all or part of Chinese manufacturing firm Tianqi Lithium’s controlling stake in Australia’s Greenbushes lithium mine.