Under its new ‘Mobil Lithium’ brand, US oil company ExxonMobil is aiming to become a leading supplier of lithium for the electric vehicle industry by 2030. Therefore, the company has begun initial preparations for the extraction of lithium in southwest Arkansas. ExxonMobil acquired the rights to almost 49,000 hectares of land in this region earlier this year.
Lithium extraction from underground salt water
ExxonMobil intends to use conventional oil and gas drilling methods to extract lithium-bearing salt water from reservoirs located at a depth of around 3,000 meters. The lithium will be separated from the salt water using direct lithium extraction technology and then processed on site into battery-grade material. After the process, the salt water will be reinjected into the underground reservoirs.
Lithium production scheduled for 2027
First lithium production is scheduled to begin in 2027. Talks are currently underway with potential customers, including electric vehicle and battery manufacturers.