Electrification of transportation is one of the cornerstones of the energy transition. With anticipated increases in EV adoption over the next decade, demand for lithium is expected to increase by approximately 5,700% by 2030, as lithium-ion batteries will be needed to power those vehicles.1 While lithium resources are plentiful in the U.S., accounting for up to 17% of global reserves, little domestic lithium refining capacity exists.2 Dozens of gigafactories are being developed across the country highlighting the need for supply of battery grade lithium. In addition, domestic production of battery-grade lithium is crucial to American national security. The IEA estimates that up to 85% of worldwide lithium resources are currently sent to China for refining into battery-grade lithium, while minimal refining capacity currently exists in the U.S.3
Stardust Power’s strategy is to become a leading producer of battery grade lithium products in the U.S. The Company believes that designing a large central refinery optimized for multiple inputs of brine lithium feedstock provides an opportunity to scale production rather than the dependence on single assets. The proposed new battery-grade lithium refining facility in Greater Tulsa, Oklahoma, is expected to produce 50,000 metric tonnes per year of American battery-grade lithium, supporting the expansion of domestic manufacturing and helping to secure U.S. energy independence by reducing EV supply chain dependence on foreign sources of material. This is anticipated to reduce the reliance on lithium imports from China which could be threatened by increasing Chinese export controls, among other factors.
The Oklahoma refinery site is shovel ready. The site has access to existing power (including from renewable sources), water supply, wastewater treatment, and natural gas service, as well as connections to major railways for material delivery and offtake. Once operational, the refinery is anticipated to draw employees from the surrounding area through workforce training programs and job placement partnerships.
“Stardust Power aims to solve one of the largest challenges of the energy transition – reliable access to the critical minerals that will make the transition a reality,” said Roshan Pujari, CEO of Stardust Power. “Refined lithium is the key component in the lithium-ion batteries which make the proliferation of EVs, and decarbonization of transportation, possible. Domestic production of battery-grade lithium is also a crucial factor to American national security and leadership in the energy transition, which Stardust Power is working to address.”