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SPECIAL REPORT: Where is Lithium Valley?

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - For years, lithium has been a popular topic in Imperial County due to the amount of lithium minerals found beneath the Salton Sea area.

Talks such as bringing more economic development into the area.

But as years have passed, where is the industry currently standing with all the economic development talk? Where is Lithium Valley?

“Within District 4 in Imperial County, it has a resource that has been used for 40 years to create geothermal energy. But now within that geothermal brine that produces power is also critical minerals critical for our new economy,” said Ryan Kelley, Imperial County District 4 Supervisor.

Over the years, the lithium industry has presented how it will help benefit Imperial Valley bringing in new economic development and job opportunities for locals.

Carmen Rene, Chief Financial Officer for Energy Source Minerals, explained how they will bring in more locals to work for the industry.

“We know that attracting locals is much better than bringing somebody from a different region to come work in the area. In order to do that, we’ve been working with Imperial Valley College on curriculum development and credentialing programs so we can educate residents today on what these jobs look like and get them ready to be eligible candidates,” shared Rene.  

Working with Imperial Valley College will help educate students and prepare them for careers in the Geothermal Field.

The real question is, when will we start to see the industry flourish?

Although there are some geothermal plants out near the Salton Sea already extracting minerals, including lithium, it's not too long until we can start to see the industry take over.

“How you are gonna know that is gonna happen is when you start to see truck traffic which we see is going to happen so let's say we start construction on 2024 where we believe is reasonable it's gonna be 2027 let's say that's when Imperial County can really see that lithium is being extracted and processed and shipped out of our region,” said Rene.

Energy Source Minerals is just one of the many companies still under construction in getting their manufacturers up and running.

However, there is no exact formal date when they will begin construction to move forward with their development phase.

For now, it's up to which manufacturer will take the lead for Lithium Valley.

Article Topic Follows: Special Reports

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Jailene Aguilera

Jailene Aguilera joined KYMA in April 2023. She is the anchor/producer for CBS at 6 and 10 pm. If you have any story ideas, contact Jailene at


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