Exxon pursues lithium mining to supply electric vehicles

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ExxonMobil is venturing into the lithium market to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles (EV). The company announced that it has started drilling its first lithium well in Arkansas, where it holds a large acreage of land with high lithium potential. ExxonMobil aims to become a leading supplier of lithium, a key ingredient for EV batteries, by 2030.

The company said that its advanced production approach, which uses brine extraction and processing, has the potential to unlock vast supplies of lithium in North America while reducing environmental impacts compared to conventional mining methods. The company also said that its domestic sourcing of lithium will contribute to energy security, support manufacturing and advance U.S. climate policy objectives.

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ExxonMobil expects to start producing lithium by 2027 and will market it under the Mobil™ Lithium brand, leveraging its long-standing relationship with the automotive industry. The project is part of ExxonMobil’s Low Carbon Solutions business, which focuses on developing and deploying technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Lithium is essential to the energy transition, and ExxonMobil has a leading role to play in paving the way for electrification,” said Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions. “This landmark project applies decades of ExxonMobil expertise to unlock vast supplies of North American lithium with far fewer environmental impacts than traditional mining operations.”

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The Arkansas government sees Exxon’s venture as an opportunity to boost the state’s economy. “South Arkansas is our state’s all-around energy capital, producing oil, natural gas, and now thanks to investments like ExxonMobil’s and their combination of skills and scale, lithium,” said Arkansas Governor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “My administration supports an all-of-the-above energy strategy that guarantees good, high-paying jobs for Arkansans – and we’ll continue to cut taxes and slash red tape to make that happen.” 

Exxon noted that lithium is essential to the production of lithium-ion batteries, which are used in electric vehicles, consumer electronics, energy storage systems and other clean energy technologies. The company expects demand for lithium to quadruple by 2030. By 2030, ExxonMobil aims to be producing enough lithium to supply the manufacturing needs of well over a million EVs per year. It is in discussions with potential customers, including EV and battery manufacturers.

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