GM invests $650M in lithium mining to lock down EV raw materials
General Motors said Tuesday it will invest $650 million into Lithium Americas as part of an agreement to develop a mine in Nevada, the latest effort by the automaker to lock down a supply chain of key components needed to produce millions of EVs.
The investment in raw materials for batteries is the biggest to date, according to GM. And it's no wonder. General Motors has a litany of all-electric sedans, SUVs, crossovers and trucks that are coming to market in the next two years, including the GMC Sierra EV, Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV and Chevrolet Equinox. GM said in November it expects to generate more than $50 billion in revenue from sales of its 30 EV models in 2025, with profit margins in the low to mid-single digits.
But that can't happen if supply chain constraints prevent GM from producing the vehicles. The semiconductor chip shortage that kicked off in 2020 is an experience that every automaker is keen to avoid, especially as the industry transitions to EVs.
GM and other automakers have made joint venture agreements with battery manufacturers to bring production to the U.S. and ensure enough cells are available. GM has taken it a step further by locking up a supply of lithium, a key component in EV batteries.
Lithium Americas estimates the lithium extracted and processed from the project at Thacker Pass mine can support production of up to 1 million EVs per year. Production at Thacker Pass is projected to begin in the second half of 2026. Lithium Americas expects Thacker Pass to create 1,000 jobs in construction and 500 in operations.
"GM has secured all the battery material we need to build more than 1 million EVs annually in North America in 2025 and our future production will increasingly draw from domestic resources like the site in Nevada we're developing with Lithium Americas," said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. "Direct sourcing critical EV raw materials and components from suppliers in North America and free-trade-agreement countries helps make our supply chain more secure, helps us manage cell costs, and creates jobs."
The investment will be split into two tranches. The first will be released to Lithium Americas if certain conditions are met, including a pending ruling in U.S. District Court. The second amount will be made after Lithium Americas separates its U.S. and Argentina businesses, the companies said.