Standard Lithium Ltd is trying to become the first new U.S. source of lithium for electric vehicle batteries in decades, a bullish target fueled in part by technical and engineering changes the company is making in response to accusations that its technology does not work.
Vancouver, British Columbia-based Standard is among a wave of companies, including mining major Rio Tinto Ltd, trying to use direct lithium extraction (DLE) technologies https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/new-lithium-technology-can-help-world-go-green-if-it-works-2022-04-07 to supply the battery metal to the EV industry.
But no DLE technology has worked at commercial scale, and a prominent short seller https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/short-seller-alleges-standard-lithium-technology-does-not-work-2022-02-03 alleged in February that Standard’s plan to produce lithium in Arkansas was based on faulty processes.
The allegation from Hindenburg Research set in motion a selling spree that wiped out more than $300 million from Standard Lithium’s market value. The stock has yet to recover. Standard pushed back against Hindenburg’s claims and defended its lithium extraction technology, but it also made some changes.
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