Lithium Mining Should be at Center of Arkansas’ Mobility Industry
Last month, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson proclaimed the state as a world leader in the smart mobility industry, developing infrastructure to push the bounds of technology in electric vehicles, unmanned delivery vehicles, flying cars, drones and more.
Companies are already operating autonomous delivery vehicles in Bentonville, logging more than 200,000 miles since the beginning of last year. As part of his proclamation, the governor established the Arkansas Council on Future Mobility with representation from organizations such as Walmart, J.B. Hunt, FedEx and the University of Arkansas.
This is exciting news for Arkansas, with news accounts touting impressive economic impacts, such as $9.9 billion in economic activity, 7,000 new jobs, and global markets with values ranging into the trillions.
Lithium can help drive state’s economic future
There are many things in Arkansas to be excited about, and the pioneering progress of the state’s smart transportation sector is admirable, but we hope policymakers are not overlooking the significance of their state’s budding lithium industry.
Galvanic Energy holds a 115,000-acre position in the Smackover geological formation, which contains enormous quantities of lithium in subterranean brine reservoirs. Our prospect is the largest and most concentrated lithium brine cache in North America, with enough lithium to power an estimated 50 million electric vehicles.
If the Arkansas Council on Future Mobility wants to illustrate what the state’s new transportation sector will look like, it need look no further than southwestern Arkansas and what may soon be the bedrock of our nation’s electric vehicle industry.
Galvanic is a new energy company that will soon play a major role in a national effort to grow U.S. production of lithium, the key ingredient in the production of lithium-ion batteries, which power millions of electric vehicles across the country and around the world.
Arkansas holds solution to lithium supply chain problem
Electric vehicle production continues to grow, and demand for lithium batteries and lithium itself is skyrocketing. With only one operating lithium mine in America, U.S. lithium production comprises less than 2% of the world’s supply. Most of the world’s lithium production comes from South America and Australia, which is then shipped to Chinese processors and battery manufacturers.
Heavily dependent on other nations for its lithium supply, the U.S. is in danger of losing control of its energy future. Increased domestic lithium production could reduce or even eliminate that dependence. Our Smackover prospect is in position to reduce the need for imported lithium by suppling battery and EV manufacturing plants in the United States and offers enormous economic promise for Arkansas.
The newly formed council says it will help lay the groundwork for industry to thrive by nurturing collaboration between private industry, government and academia. We are excited by the governor’s announcement and look forward to being a part of this bold new growth.