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Contractors break ground on Tesla lithium plant

9 May 23 Construction work has started on Tesla’s new US$375m (£297m) lithium refinery in Texas.

Elon Musk believes lithium mining is "a license to print money".
Elon Musk believes lithium mining is "a license to print money".

The project was officially launched at a ceremony on the site near Corpus Christi by Tesla boss Elon Musk who arrived in an all-electric pickup truck adorned with the flags of the United States and the state of Texas.

Plans to build the new plant were first announced in 2020 after Tesla signed a deal with battery maker Piedmont Lithium.

Tesla later revealed that it was expanding into the mining industry and had bought mineral rights to 10,000 acres of land in the state of Nevada.

According to specialist news website insideevs.com, Tesla’s new refinery will cost around US$365m to build and will employ around 165 people full-time, plus around 250 construction workers for the next two years.

At the ceremony to mark breaking ground on site, Musk said: “We’re incredibly excited to announce one of the biggest lithium refineries in the world, at a location [where] we expect to produce lithium for about a million vehicles, and produce more battery-grade lithium than the rest of North America’s refinery capacity combined.”

Musk has previously described lithium mining as “a license to print money”.

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