This is important because the increasing number of electric and hybrid vehicles will demand a lot of lithium ion batteries. Currently, the biggest sources of lithium are Bolivia and Chile, with some also coming from China. Those lithium sources consume a lot water in processing. The Lawrence Livermore Lab has developed a process to remove the silicates that have previously made it difficult to extract the lithium from the geothermal water.
Simbol Mining is using this process for a new demonstration plant being built on the Salton Sea to produce lithium.