The White Gold Rush - How one US startup is changing the lithium extraction game!

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EnergyX’s ground-breaking technology can extract 300% more lithium than today’s methods, attracting attention from General Motors and the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Quick, name a resource more important today than lithium. 

It’s a tough one to answer. Lithium is the essential resource powering the modern world. Some of the fastest-growing industries - smartphones, electric vehicles (EV), and renewable energy, just to name a few - rely on batteries powered by lithium. 

So much of this “white gold” is needed that lithium demand is projected to soar 20X by 2040. That growth is creating a massive opportunity for companies that can supply lithium. As Elon Musk put it, “Do you like minting money? Well, the lithium business is for you.”

One founder has taken him up on that. Enter Teague Egan and his company, EnergyX. 

As a seasoned climate activist, early Tesla owner, and successful entrepreneur, Teague understood the growing importance of lithium for electric vehicles before most. He also knew meeting the world’s demand for lithium the traditional way simply wouldn’t work.

He founded EnergyX in 2018 to solve the problem. 

Teague’s vision for EnergyX was big, yet simple. Instead of relying on outdated methods, EnergyX would build technology to extract lithium faster, cheaper, and cleaner. Five years later, EnergyX’s tech can extract 300% more lithium than legacy methods for far lower cost. 

Now, major institutions and corporate investors are lining up to back EnergyX, including General Motors (GM) and POSCO Holdings. GM just led EnergyX’s $50M Series B round and is partnering with EnergyX to help secure their own lithium supply. 

However, EnergyX decided not to limit their investment opportunity only to companies who can invest tens of millions of dollars like GM. They’re not only allowing everyday retail and angel investors to also become shareholders right alongside GM, but over 5,000 people have already invested.

Here’s the story of how EnergyX transformed the lithium industry, and why it could be one of the most exciting entrepreneurship stories since the inception of Tesla.

Disrupting a $546 Billion Market

The market for battery materials is projected to reach a whopping $546B by 2035, but lithium production simply isn’t keeping up. Even worse, up to 60% of the world’s lithium today comes from methods that are viewed as harmful to the environment.

Fortunately, EnergyX’s technology solves both problems. 

Backed by nearly 100+ patents, EnergyX’s revolutionary Direct Lithium Extraction and Refinery Technology (LiTAS™) recovers over 93% of lithium from brine in just days. That’s 3X more lithium than the industry standard 30-40% recovery rates of today from legacy evaporation ponds, all without wasting water, space, or time.

Speaking with Entrepreneur, Teague told us, “When I first laid eyes on evaporation ponds, my jaw dropped. I knew this was one of the biggest opportunities for disruption I had ever seen.” In order to increase lithium supply from 300K tons per year to 6M tons per year, a true step change in the method of production needed to occur.

“Here you have these ponds that are 15 square miles in size, bigger than the footprint of New York City, and they only work at 30% efficiency, while taking 18 months to process lithium?” exclaimed Egan. 

What also sets EnergyX’s tech apart is the modular and scalable nature of the systems, which can be tailored to minimize costs and maximize lithium yield for customers. No matter the conditions LiTAS™ can handle all lithium brines, and is the most comprehensive lithium refinery technology in the world.

Their tech has the potential to unlock lithium supplies in hard-to-reach, uneconomical, or previously unviable places, and it’s one of the big reasons car companies like GM are so intrigued. 

GM Leads EnergyX’s $50M Funding Round 

Over the past 100 years, only two car companies in the US have not gone bankrupt, Ford and Tesla. When Elon started Tesla in 2003, essentially every major car company laughed “at this electric thing.” It had been tried before. However, Tesla became worth over $1 trillion, and the Model Y is currently the highest selling vehicle model of any car in the world, EV or ICE (internal combustion engine). 

Underestimating Elon Musk proved to be a poor decision. However, GM is faced with a slightly different challenge, which is transitioning 6-8 million cars of annual production from ICE to EV. The company does roughly $150 billion in revenue, but that shift doesn’t happen overnight, and it requires a massive overhaul of the supply chain. 

Enter EnergyX. 

The math is simple. 1 car needs approximately 70 kilograms of lithium. That means you need 1 ton of lithium for every 14 new cars. GM is planning to transition 6 million cars by 2035, which means they need 420,000 tons of lithium per year. To put that into perspective, this year the total global production of lithium was about 600,000 tons. 

GM’s supply won’t all come from one place, but to help secure access to lithium, GM partnered with EnergyX and led their $50 million funding round.

The collaboration aims to revolutionize the North American lithium supply chain through EnergyX's innovative LiTAS™ direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology. GM is investing across the entire battery supply chain in North America, from raw materials to full battery cell production. The lithium supply is only one piece of the puzzle, but never again does GM want to put itself in the path of Chapter 11.

The EnergyX investment and partnership addresses the key bottleneck, lithium, in scaling EV production. Essentially all of the other materials that go into batteries such as nickel, copper, iron, etc. have many other applications, and therefore robust production processes. Lithium is different. 

GM's investment solidifies EnergyX's position as a leader in DLE technology. Car companies aren’t the only groups racing to secure lithium. It’s becoming a national security issue too. 

Securing North America’s Lithium Supply

Lithium has become so essential to meeting the world’s energy needs that China and the US are in a race to control the global lithium supply. China spent over $60 billion in the last decade to become the largest lithium refiner in the world. China is also expanding its reach by accumulating producers internationally.

The two biggest producers in the world are Australia which, while an ally to the US, is geographically much closer to China, and Chile, which is home to the largest lithium producer in the world, SQM, as well as large operations of Albemarle, the second biggest.

Chile is already a Free Trade Partner with the US, making it compliant with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), but Teague recognized an even bigger opportunity. “There are many skills important for building a company or successful entrepreneurship, but few more important than team building,” he said. “No one can build anything incredible alone.”

Somehow Teague pulled off an incredible maneuver and recruited to EnergyX a gentleman named Juan Carlos Barrera (JC for short), who was the Senior Vice President of Lithium Operations at SQM for 13 years, of his 28 years at the company. “I guess some people call me the Lithium King, but JC is actually the Godfather of Lithium,” laughed Teague. “He built the biggest lithium company in the world over the past decade at SQM. Now he actually has ownership in EnergyX, and we're going to do it again.”

EnergyX’s extraction technology has the potential to transform the United States and North America into a lithium powerhouse. They’ve even secured a $5M US Department of Energy grant to extract lithium from geothermal brines in California. 

With this sort of transformational potential, EnergyX is attracting a lot of interest from investors. Here’s how you can invest…

Becoming an EnergyX Shareholder

EnergyX is currently raising capital from investors. 

This opportunity to invest in EnergyX is open to everyone, not just Wall Street banks or accredited investors. You can buy stock in EnergyX for $8 a share. Over 4,600 investors have already joined them, investing nearly $60M to date.

This is an exciting opportunity to invest in a private, early-stage company alongside companies like GM.

To learn more about EnergyX, their roadmap for growth, or the investment opportunity, just head to their website by clicking here. 

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