Senator Catherine Cortez Masto recently toured Aqua Metals’ Innovation Center & sustainable Lithium AquaRefining Pilot.
The following day, she took to the floor of the Nevada Legislature to highlight the importance of building a circular supply of critical battery minerals to boost the state’s clean energy industry.
“But for too long, [critical minerals] have been extracted and shipped overseas for processing and manufacturing. We should be developing Nevada’s minerals. We should be developing that lithium in Nevada, whether it’s through extraction or recycling. That’s why I ensured the bipartisan infrastructure law included legislation to boost our critical mineral supply chain while investing, at the same time, in battery manufacturing recycling projects right here at home, right here at home.
You know, I’ve been talking about this so much on the floor of the Senate, they’re getting sick and tired of hearing me talk about it. But this is Nevada’s future, and this is our opportunity. I was one of the first Senators to really introduce and pass legislation to boost electric vehicles, to develop our national strategy, and create a real critical mineral supply chain. That was crucial for all of us here in Nevada. It already has delivered millions to companies like Lilac Solutions in Fernley, like American Battery Technologies Project in Tonopah, and just a few years ago, we all know this, these jobs didn’t exist. And now, they’re supporting thousands of families across our state in just that short period of time.
And I will tell you, yesterday, I was at TRIC. I was visiting Aqua Metals. Aqua Metals has pioneered a process to recycle lithium-ion batteries and recover the valuable metals and lithium hydroxide, creating this circular supply of critical minerals for domestic battery manufacturing. Why is this important? Because lithium hydroxide that they produce, they actually can use that to recycle and support companies just like Dragonfly, that’s right here, right here in Northern Nevada, that recycles batteries that actually manufactures the batteries here in our communities. So Aqua Metals is a key piece, but there are so many more that we are benefiting from. And Aqua Metals, by the way, benefited from the tax credits that we passed in the Inflation Reduction Act. And as they grow, they’re looking to hire more workers right here in Northern Nevada.
We have it all here, and we have the potential to make the most of it, as long as we’re working together.”