EnergyX to build lithium plant in US ‘Ark-La-Tex’ region

Rendering from EnergyX.

Privately-held Energy Exploration Technologies (EnergyX) announced Thursday its planned lithium project in North America called Lonestar Lithium, to be located in the “Ark-La-Tex” region, where the southern US states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas join.

Project Lonestar Lithium will have a target lithium production of 5,000 tonnes per year in Phase 1, then rising to 25,000 tonnes in Phase 2, the company said.

In 2023, EnergyX acquired a Chile-based lithium resource, including 90,000 acres of mining concessions. The total potential inferred resource is in the range of 2.6 to 5.5 million tonnes supporting a 40,000-tonne-per-annum lithium plant, the company said, adding that multiple surface samples collected indicated lithium concentration topping over 400 mg/L.

The company also received last year a $5 million grant from the US Department of Energy with a $5 million company match to build a demonstration plant to produce lithium hydroxide from geothermal brines. This plant sets the foundation for project Lonestar Lithium, it said.

Prior to that, EnergyX closed its Series B financing from partners including General Motors and POSCO, who have first rights to portions of the company’s lithium production offtake. 

As it moves towards commercialization, EnergyX has also partnered with engineering, procurement and construction company Kiewet to undertake the initial front-end engineering plans of Project Lonestar, and to help enhance the scalability and efficiency of EnergyX’s suite of direct lithium extraction lithium technologies (known as “LiTAS”).

“Project Lonestar Lithium will take us one step closer to securing the US battery supply chain,” EnergyX CEO Teague Egan said in a news release.

“This has been a long time in the making, and we still have a long way to go, but it is crucial that US-based companies really focus on developing domestic resources to reduce our reliance on external, offshore suppliers for critical elements like lithium,” Egan said.