GM to invest in EnergyX

General Motors (GM) announced on Tuesday that it will invest in lithium start-up EnergyX to expand its presence in the mining industry. The move is aimed at ensuring long-term supplies of the metal used in electric vehicle batteries. The global push by automakers to electrify their fleets has sparked a rush for stable supplies of lithium, copper, nickel and other critical minerals.

Privately-held EnergyX is among several companies developing so-far unproven direct lithium extraction technologies (DLE) that could help GM filter the metal for its Ultium battery packs from some types of brine that have been largely ignored by the mining industry in favour of evaporation ponds and open-pit mines. Brine deposits are salt-infused waters found throughout the globe, many of which teem with lithium, calcium and other minerals. DLE technologies aim to separate out the lithium and leave the rest.

As part of the investment, GM’s scientists will work to help EnergyX commercialise the DLE technology. GM declined to say how much of the Series B round it was funding but plans to lead a round worth $50m and to help finance EnergyX’s future expansion across North and South America.

EnergyX has said its technology can make lithium metal directly from brine, a tantalising prospect for GM that could let the automaker bypass lithium refining, which is widely seen as a key supply-chain bottleneck. The investment comes after GM in January agreed to pay $650m to become the largest shareholder in Lithium Americas Corp, which is developing the Thacker Pass clay lithium project in Nevada.

Pan Finance is a print journal and news website providing worldwide intelligence on finance, economics and global commerce. Known for our in-depth analysis and opinion pieces from esteemed academics and celebrated professionals; our readership consists of senior decision makers from across the globe.

Contact us