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Lithium mining claims lead to busy day at Nye Recorder’s office

Updated January 3, 2018 - 5:30 pm

The Nye County Recorder’s Office in Tonopah had a busy day in the second half of October when a group seeking to mine for lithium in the Railroad Valley area staked hundreds of claims.

Dawn Gudmunson, chief deputy recorder at the Nye County Recorder’s Office, said she recorded 2,843 mining claims on Oct. 18 for Carson City-based 3PL Operating Inc., a company looking to mine lithium.

The mining group has been working in the region for several years and started to see competitors eyeing the area of the claims, said Vincent Ramirez, CEO of 3PL.

“…We decided to pull the plug and take the claims that we believe is a lithium discovery,” he said.

The mining group, a private company, picked up the claims for about $20 each. Ramirez’s total claims for the Railroad Valley area in October equate to 94 square miles, he said.

Ramirez has years of experience in the oil and gas industry, working across the globe over the last three decades.

For the last decade, Ramirez said he’s been focused on Nevada.

He has focused on the Nye County claims for the last five years, he said.

The mining group also has a list of investors, many of which are Canadian.

“We have about 20 shareholders, most of them are in the mining industry—private individuals that have had success in the mining industry, for various metals, in the past, he said.

To date, there is only one active lithium mine in the nation, which sits in Esmeralda County in the town of Silver Peak.

But Ramirez’s group could change that.

“We’re not as speculative as our competitors, as evidenced by the amount of acreage we have claimed and the amount of investment we have put into this so far,” he said.

Ramirez pointed to the cost of several years of research and over $1 million, just in fees, paid out.

“I think it’s going to be a real eye-opener for a lot of people what we’ve learned about lithium,” Ramirez said. “Of course, the truth will be in the drilling.”

Ramirez expects exploration efforts to begin soon. The group doesn’t plan on using evaporation ponds, which will require permitting, he said.

“We are investigating direct extraction,” Ramirez said. “This is lithium that goes through a plant and then you run the water, the brine, back into the subsurface.”

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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