GM, Lithium Americas to Boost Lithium Production in North America
GM and Lithium Americas just announced a US$650 million investment to boost lithium production in the US, as both companies seek to capitalize on the industry’s growing demand for EVs, reads a Lithium Americas' press release. The investment will be used to support the development of the Thacker Pass lithium project in Nevada, which is expected to become one of the largest lithium mines in the world and create 1,000 jobs in construction and 500 in operations.
The Thacker Pass project will produce high-quality lithium hydroxide, which is used in the lithium-ion batteries that power EVs. The mine is expected to help reduce the US’s dependency on imports of the metal. Currently, the majority of lithium used in the US is imported from countries such as Australia and Chile.
“GM has secured all the battery material we need to build over 1 million electric vehicles a year in North America by 2025 and our future production will increasingly rely on domestic resources such as the site in Nevada we are developing with Lithium Americas,” says Mary Barra, CEO and Chairman, GM, as reported by Cluster Industrial.
Barra highlights the importance of the USMCA and other free trade agreements to improve the reliability of the company’s supply chain and to ensure the direct sourcing of raw materials and critical components for the automaker’s electric car division.
This agreement is expected to play a critical role in developing lithium production in the region. “The agreement with GM is an important milestone in moving Thacker Pass into production, while laying the groundwork for the separation of our US and Argentinian businesses,” Jonathan Evans, President and CEO, Lithium Americas, tells Cluster Industrial.
During the first stage, funds will be held until conditions are met. If met, the funds will be released and GM will become a shareholder of Lithium Americas by the end of 2023. The second stage investment will be made in Lithium Americas' US lithium business and is subject to similar conditions, including securing sufficient funds to support Thacker Pass.