Making progress on lithium … and making a difference

Key takeaways:

  • Excitement builds in Arkansas over lithium 
  • We're making fast progress on our lithium plan
  • We've also created a new $100K endowment for local counties

ExxonMobil is making fast progress on the landmark lithium plan we announced just three months ago. And we’ve created a new $100,000 endowment to support the communities in southwest Arkansas where we’re working. 

Those were among the messages Patrick Howarth delivered to the standing-room-only crowd at the state’s first Lithium Innovation Summit in downtown Little Rock. 

“We have an opportunity to establish a new foundational industry here in Arkansas,” said Patrick, who is the Lithium Global Business Manager for our Low Carbon Solutions business, which announced in November its plans to become a leading producer of lithium for electric vehicle batteries – by extracting it from brine deep underground southwest Arkansas

We’ve already built a leading acreage position in the state, drilled numerous appraisal wells, conducted extensive engineering and design work, and engaged with our global customer base and local communities. 

“And I’m proud to say we’ve produced battery-grade lithium from a pilot in Houston,” Patrick said. “We’ve been busy!” 

New charitable fund to benefit two counties  

Patrick also announced the new $100,000 endowment, to be awarded to nonprofits to support education, public safety, and quality-of-life initiatives in Lafayette and Columbia counties. Called the ExxonMobil Charitable Fund for Southwest Arkansas, it will be managed by the Arkansas Community Foundation.

“Our aim in any community we operate in is to be a partner,” Patrick said.

More than 600 business, community and political leaders, attended the event in Little Rock, including Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said her administration is taking an “all-of-government approach” to supporting the growth of a lithium industry in the state.


The method we’ll use to produce lithium in Arkansas is expected to have much less environmental impact than how most lithium is produced today. It’s also very similar to the oil and gas drilling we've honed over decades.

Patrick emphasized that ExxonMobil’s technical expertise – plus our financial strength and global scale – makes us uniquely qualified to scale up lithium in Arkansas. First production is planned for 2027.

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Lithium is a key component of electric vehicle batteries. To meet projected growth in EVs, the world will need a lot more lithium. ExxonMobil plans to become of leading supplier of lithium, using a modern process that has significantly less environmental impact than traditional mining.