Exxon Mobil announces plan to begin lithium mining in South Arkansas this month

Rush on to extract brine in South Arkansas

Patrick Howarth (right), global business manager, low carbon solutions for ExxonMobil, talks about the new lithium extraction operations to start soon in south Arkansas during an announcement on Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, at the state Capitol in Little Rock. .(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

Exxon Mobil will begin drilling for lithium in South Arkansas starting this month, the company announced Monday.

The announcement is the beginning of a rush to extract the mineral, a critical component in electric vehicle, computer and cellphone batteries, from the Smackover Formation in South Arkansas.