A consortium led by South Korean conglomerate Posco Holdings is making a substantial investment in lithium technology startup EnergyX as it explores more efficient approaches to lithium production, a critical component in the transition to green energy. The global shift towards electrifying economies and reducing carbon emissions has heightened the demand for stable lithium supplies, bringing attention to emerging direct lithium extraction (DLE) technologies. EnergyX and its peers are developing these technologies, which, if successful, have the potential to produce lithium more rapidly and cost-effectively than traditional methods involving evaporation ponds and brine deposits, often found in regions like northern Argentina, where Posco is developing the Sal de Oro lithium project.

As part of this strategic partnership, South Korea’s Elohim Partners and IMM Investment Global will participate in EnergyX’s Series B funding round, with a total investment target of $50 million. Posco, acting through these funds, will collaborate with EnergyX to facilitate the commercialization of their technology. Jaeho Rhee, CEO of Elohim, expressed confidence in EnergyX’s potential, stating, “In a world where lithium is of the utmost importance, we expect EnergyX to thrive in the lithium extraction market.”

While specific funding details for the EnergyX Series B were not disclosed, Posco has secured the right to invest in other lithium projects developed by EnergyX in proportion to its investment in the startup. Earlier reports from April indicated that General Motors (GM.N) is leading the EnergyX Series B funding round.

EnergyX is currently in the process of constructing a DLE demonstration plant in Argentina’s Salta Province, near Posco’s Sal de Oro project. Posco will evaluate EnergyX’s technology as it considers potential licensing arrangements. Teague Egan, CEO of EnergyX, views Posco as a key partner for its Argentinian endeavors, saying, “We’re viewing Posco as our flagship customer for Argentina. We hope this evolves into a full-blown commercial agreement.”

Posco previously announced its plans to invest $4 billion in Argentina with the goal of becoming South America’s largest lithium producer by 2026, aiming to produce 100,000 metric tons of lithium. The region is known for housing significant lithium deposits, forming part of the “lithium triangle” shared with Chile and Bolivia.

Posco also revealed its ambition to generate $32.57 billion in battery materials sales by 2030, further emphasizing the significance of lithium in its strategic goals. In addition to the collaboration with Posco, EnergyX is actively seeking Argentine brine deposits for acquisition. These deposits will further support its lithium production objectives. In the past, EnergyX was disqualified from a competition in Bolivia to produce lithium, which was ultimately won by a consortium led by China’s CATL. Despite this setback, EnergyX continues to expand its footprint and refine its DLE technology in Chile. This strategic partnership between Posco and EnergyX demonstrates a shared commitment to advancing lithium production technology and meeting the growing global demand for lithium in the green energy sector. It also underscores the significance of direct lithium extraction methods in shaping the future of battery materials.

By Admin

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