Stardust Power Inc. an American developer of lithium resources critical to the U.S. electric vehicle (“EV”) supply chain, announced 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 metric tons per year of high-quality battery-grade lithium, supporting the expansion of domestic manufacturing and helping to secure U.S. energy independence.
For Stardust, the refinery’s strategic central U.S. 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 U.S. currently has only one lithium producing asset in Nevada, which produces approximately 5,000 metric tons per year vs. the estimated 500,000 metric tons per year of unrefined lithium required to power EVs. With the current development of approximately 25 gigafactories across the U.S., 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 centered on sustainability, favoring 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 U.S.