CALIPATRIA, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Imperial Valley looking to strike white gold.
Bringing exponential growth and billions of dollars to our area.
Imperial County held its first community workshop in Calipatria to talk about bringing major lithium projects to the valley.
The event was to let the public get a first-hand look at the proposed project.
The event also took public comments throughout, discussing a wide range of issues from jobs, economic growth, and environmental responsibility.
“Today’s workshop is all about trying to gather the information from the community," said Brian Mooney, Senior VP of Planning and Design, Rick Engineering Company. "But also in telling the community about the project and the timeframe of the project.”
Three companies, Control Thermal Resources, EnergySource and Berkshire Hathaway Renewables, are testing or scaling up pilot technologies at the Salton Sea.
CTR CEO Rod Colwell anticipates this project will create 2,000 new jobs in his company alone.
That’s welcome news to the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation.
“We have a lot of companies that would like to build here, but we have to make sure that it’s done with the community’s support," said Timothy Kelley, President, and CEO of IVEDC. "And so the community definitely has the opportunity to give their input, ask questions and then come up with the answers.”
The price of lithium has gone up exponentially in the last year; from $200,000 per metric ton in 2021 to just under $500,000 just a year later, according to Investing.com data.
According to Forbes, it's projected that over 30 million tons of lithium can be extracted from the Salton Sea.
Imperial Valley leaders hope to be able to conduct more of these workshops in the near future.