Tesla recently submitted documents to Texas showing that it would build a battery-grade lithium hydroxide refining facility. Tesla claims it will be “the first of its kind in North America,”. At the moment, the company has already to the Texas Comptroller’s Office for tax relief. Tesla also said that if completed, the facility would process ore raw materials into materials that can be used for battery production. The lithium hydroxide produced would be transported by truck and rail to Tesla’s various battery manufacturing bases to support its large-scale production. The lithium refinery will support the production of electric vehicle battery plants.
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Tesla lithium refinery will start operation in 2024
In addition, Tesla says the facility will use an innovative process that will consume fewer hazardous chemicals than traditional processes. It will also produce by-products that can be reused. The construction project will begin as early as the fourth quarter of 2022. However, there are reports that commercial production will not commence until the fourth quarter of 2024.
On July 14 this year, Musk tweeted that lithium batteries are the new oil, affirming the value of lithium in the modern economy. In addition, he urged entrepreneurs to enter the lithium refining business on Tesla’s earnings call in July. Musk claims that the competition on lithium cannot be lost, and it is a business like printing money. Earlier in April, Musk tweeted: “Lithium prices have reached unbelievable levels!. Tesla may actually have to go directly into (lithium) mining and mining on a large scale unless we improve our costs. Lithium itself is not in short supply because it is almost everywhere on earth, but extraction/refining is slow .”
It is worth noting that recently, Tesla supplier Piedmont Lithium, a well-known US lithium mine company, issued a warning that the US “doesn’t have enough” lithium to achieve electric vehicle goals. China is currently the dominant player in the field of lithium refining. At the moment, China has more than half of the world’s production capacity.