Stardust, an American developer of lithium resources critical to the US electric vehicle (EV) supply chain, announced today its plan to build a new battery-grade lithium refining facility in the Central United States. When fully operational, Stardust’s factory is expected to produce 50 000 tpy of high-quality battery-grade lithium, supporting the expansion of domestic manufacturing and helping to secure US energy independence.
For Stardust, the refinery’s strategic central US location will ensure it is well-positioned from both upstream and downstream perspectives, with offtake agreements negotiated with lithium miners and a lithium refinery in close proximity to the expanding universe of gigafactories in the South and Midwest. The Company is targeting facility construction beginning by 2024, with production starting in late-2025.
Stardust’s focus is to support America’s energy independence. Lithium is essential to the global electrification transition, the critical resource required for EV batteries, among others. Today, up to 85% of lithium resources are sent to China for refinement and then sold to manufacturers; the US currently has only one lithium producing asset in Nevada, which produces approximately 5000 tpy vs the estimated 500 tpy of unrefined lithium required to power EVs. With the current development of approximately 25 gigafactories across the US, there is an acute need for national lithium refining capacity to develop in lockstep with battery production to build supply chains that are logistically sound and cost effective.
Stardust’s strategy is likewise cantered on sustainability, favouring lithium brine deposits, including spent brine sources, over hard rock deposits, and open pit methods of mineral extraction. Stardust’s use of direct lithium extraction technologies is more environmentally sound, and the refinery will also feature sustainable, low-carbon power sources. With these factors at play, Stardust intends to become one of the most sustainable, cost-effective suppliers of battery-grade lithium in the US.
Roshan Pujari, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are pleased to announce Stardust Power’s formation. There is currently no large-scale refinery for battery-grade lithium in the US, exposing the country to undue national security and supply chain concerns. Our goal is to bridge the critical gap in domestic supply, creating battery-grade lithium from a central US refinery, to allow for America’s establishment of a secure battery materials and technology supply chain and ensure long-term US economic competitiveness.”
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