By Michael Dabaie

 

General Motors Co. said it agreed to form a strategic investment and commercial collaboration with Controlled Thermal Resources to secure local and low-cost lithium.

The auto maker said the lithium will be produced through a closed-loop, direct extraction process that results in a smaller physical footprint, no production tailing and lower carbon-dioxide emissions compared with traditional processes like pit mining or evaporation ponds.

Lithium is crucial to GM's electric-vehicle plans, the company said.

GM said it expects its relationship with CTR to accelerate the adoption of lithium-extraction methods that have less environmental impact.

GM said a significant amount of its future battery-grade lithium hydroxide and carbonate could come from CTR's Hell's Kitchen Lithium and Power development in the Salton Sea Geothermal Field, located in Imperial, Calif.

GM said it will be the first company to make a multimillion-dollar investment in the Hell's Kitchen project and will have first rights on lithium produced by the first stage of the project, including an option for a multiyear relationship.

The first stage of the Hell's Kitchen project is expected to begin yielding lithium in 2024, the auto maker said, helping GM to meet its target of eliminating tailpipe emissions from light-duty vehicles by 2035.

"By securing and localizing the lithium supply chain in the U.S., we're helping ensure our ability to make powerful, affordable, high mileage EVs while also helping to mitigate environmental impact and bring more low-cost lithium to the market as a whole," said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.

 

Write to Michael Dabaie at michael.dabaie@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 02, 2021 08:38 ET (12:38 GMT)

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