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Good News for Lithium Industry (Editorial)

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There was good news last week for the planned development of a $1.27 billion lithium project in southwest Arkansas.

Why is lithium important? Because it’s necessary to manufacture the kind of batteries that can power electric vehicles, whose share of the overall car market continues to grow. In 2020, electric cars’ share of the car market stood at about 4%. It’s expected to reach 18% this year, according to the International Energy Agency.

Standard Lithium announced that its preliminary study of the feasibility of the project had yielded positive results. The company said it had found significant concentrations of lithium in the Smackover Formation in the southwest corner of the state and in east Texas.

Standard Lithium, which has built pilot lithium production facilities in El Dorado, said the preliminary study projects that the facilities can produce 30,000 tons of lithium hydroxide monohydrate per year. And LHM is a key ingredient for the production of lithium-ion batteries.

This new industry that appears to be emerging in south Arkansas is well-positioned to take advantage of the growth in EVs.

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