Standard Lithium begins operations in El Dorado, Arkansas


A new lithium battery production operation is underway in southcentral Arkansas.

Standard Lithium began operations this week at its Arkansas LiSTR Direct Lithium Extraction facility in El Dorado.

A virtual ribbon-cutting and video walk-through tour of the plant was held reported Talk Business and Politics.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, and local officials joined Standard Lithium CEO Robert Mintak and LANXESS Corp. CEO and President Antonis Papadourakis for the virtual event.

The first-of-its-kind in the world Direct Lithium Extraction plant is installed at the company’s project partner, LANXESS’ South Plant facility in El Dorado. LiSTR is a technology that extracts lithium ions from tail brine that is a by-product of existing bromine production facilities run by LANXESS in south Arkansas.

Lithium is a light and soft metal that in recent years has been a key component used in batteries. Lithium batteries are lighter than alkaline batteries, so they offer an advantage when used with portable devices and tools. Many battery-powered automakers and energy storage facilities are utilizing lithium due to its advantages.

Standard Lithium released a Preliminary Economic Assessment  in 2019 that estimated a potential $437 million economic impact on the region. It also estimated nearly 100 direct jobs associated with the project.

The report considered a multi-phase build-out approach and target production of 20,900 tons of lithium carbonate that would be extracted and converted from the current tail brine flowing at the project. It did not include indirect jobs or the employment numbers during construction, company officials tell Talk Business & Politics.

Source: Talk Business and Politics