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Exxon Mobil Increases Its Lithium Stake With A Tetra Technologies Agreement

Exxon Mobil Increases Its Lithium Stake With A Tetra Technologies Agreement
Exxon Mobil and Tetra Technologies Inc. have agreed to develop more than 6,100 acres in Arkansas that are rich in lithium. This is the oil giant's second move this year to gain control of the resources required to generate the metal for electric vehicle batteries.
Exxon's quick entry into the lithium market coincides with an increase in traditional energy corporations' and other parties' interest in developing technologies intended to increase the world's supply of the lightweight metal.
Earlier this week, Tetra, a firm that makes chemicals for water treatment and recycling, announced that it had reached an agreement with Saltwerx to develop 6,138 acres of salty brine reserves in Arkansas that are rich in lithium and bromine. Tetra released few other specifics, though.
Two people with knowledge of the situation claim that Saltwerx is an Exxon subsidiary. Exxon acquired it earlier this year when it purchased a nearby 100,000-acre Arkansas tract from Galvanic Energy. Galvanic is not connected to Tetra or Exxon and continues to be a separate, privately held business.
Tetra and Exxon personnel were not accessible for comment on this matter.
Financial details weren't made public. Despite the fact that Exxon will provide around 2,000 acres and Tetra about 4,100 acres to the partnership, neither company gave a production or development schedule. There are still some details to be resolved.
By joining forces with Exxon, Tetra acquires a sizable partner with financial resources to support it in using the land to generate bromine, which is used in flame retardants.
Currently, Tetra purchases bromine from Lanxess to create a substance that Eos Energy Enterprises uses to make batteries out of.
In the meantime, Exxon obtains access to yet another U.S. lithium supply as the nation quickly develops its EV supply chain. Later this year, both businesses want to submit an updated application to the state of Arkansas for permission to use the brine reserves.
Although these methods are mainly untested at a commercial scale, Exxon would need to select at least one direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology to filter the metal from the brine in Arkansas. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Exxon had discussions about licencing DLE technology with International Battery Metals and EnergySource Minerals.
Tetra stated in November that it had been looking into different DLE technology but had not yet signed any contracts.
Tetra had previously agreed to lease Standard Lithium (SLI.V) more than 27,000 acres in Arkansas for the purpose of producing lithium. Standard has begun the initial stages of project development.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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