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ExxonMobil plans to build lithium wells in south Arkansas

Gov. Sanders announces a partnership with Exxon Mobile to bring more lithium wells to the state.
Josie Lenora
Little Rock Public Radio
Gov. Sarah Sanders on Monday announces a partnership with ExxonMobil to build lithium wells in southern Arkansas.

A project in Arkansas promises to bring new lithium wells to the Natural State.

The oil and gas company ExxonMobil plans to begin constructing wells in south Arkansas. Lithium producers have warned of a global shortage of the element, a key component of batteries including those found in electric cars.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed her excitement over the wells at a press conference Monday.

“We would face serious challenges if American manufactures can’t get the raw materials they need,” she said.

Along with new jobs, Sanders said she hopes the wells will create energy security. ExxonMobil's Patrick Howarth explained the environmental impact of the project.

“Not only will we tap into potentially vast manufacturing processes that are far less intrusive and significantly lower environmental impact than traditional methods, we'll also use modern manufacturing processes,” he said.

Lithium is mined by extracting lithium-rich saltwater out of the ground and separating it from the water. The first well is planned to be finished by 2027 in the south Arkansas city of Magnolia.

Josie Lenora is the Politics/Government Reporter for Little Rock Public Radio.