ARKANSAS – Exxon Mobil (NYSE:) has unveiled plans for a major lithium brine operation in the Smackover formation of Arkansas, designed to support the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) market. The initiative, announced today, is expected to commence production by 2027 with an aim to become a global leader by 2030.
Dan Ammann of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions highlighted the Mobil Lithium project’s commitment to sustainable extraction methods. The company’s strategy involves environmentally conscious techniques, which were detailed by Patrick Howarth at a press event alongside Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. This move comes as the demand for lithium, a crucial component in EV batteries, is projected to quadruple by 2030. Exxon Mobil anticipates that its operation will eventually support the manufacturing of over a million EVs annually.
The project has gained significant momentum with Exxon Mobil’s acquisition of over $100 million in mineral rights from Galvanic Energy earlier this year. The purchase underscores the company’s focus on securing substantial North American lithium deposits while emphasizing reduced environmental impact compared to traditional mining practices.
In a concurrent development, Standard Lithium Ltd. is also making strides in the region by developing a test facility in El Dorado and contemplating a $1.3 billion commercial plant. This initiative is bolstered by a partnership with global chemical company Lanxess, which provides infrastructure access, and leverages direct-lithium-extraction technologies.
Furthermore, Albemarle (NYSE:) Corporation is not far behind in the race for lithium production in Arkansas. The company plans to expand its bromine operations to include lithium extraction and operates the Esmeralda County mine among its global resources. With support from a Defense Department grant, Albemarle is committed to adopting eco-friendly brine extraction methods as part of its overall strategy.
As these companies gear up for production, Arkansas is poised to become a significant hub for lithium extraction catering to the EV market, with environmentally sustainable practices at the forefront of their operations.
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