KOCH INVESTS: As Demand Accelerates, Boosting Lithium Brine Development in North America

Mar 30, 2023 9:15 AM ET
Close up of salt plain, sun rising in the distance. "Koch Invests".

Koch Minerals & Trading, a diverse global trading, logistics and investment company, is making a $252 million investment in Compass Minerals to support phase-one development of the company’s Great Salt Lake resource.

  • About $200 million from the investment will go toward Compass’ development of the previously identified 2.4 million metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) at its active Ogden, Utah, solar evaporation site – enabling the construction of a commercial-scale direct lithium extraction (DLE) conversion plant, with the remaining amount going toward debt reduction.

BY THE NUMBERS: By 2025, the initial capacity is expected to be approximately 11 kilometric tons (kMT) LCE, with full annual capacity ultimately reaching 35 kMT LCE.

WHY IT MATTERS: The global market for lithium is expected to grow 12% annually from 2022 to 2030, according to recent market research.

WHY KOCH INVESTED: “Koch Minerals & Trading is excited to partner with fellow Kansas-based company, Compass Minerals, a leading producer of salt, fertilizers and other essential products and materials. We admire Compass Minerals for its values and its vision to produce products that help keep people safe, feed the world and enrich lives. KM&T seeks partners like Compass Minerals to apply its bulk commodity capabilities to create greater value for customers, communities and shareholders. KM&T will also be working closely with Compass Minerals and other Koch companies to unlock a significant lithium resource at Compass Minerals’ Great Salt Lake facility and become one of the first major U.S.-based lithium producers,” said KM&T Vice President Jon Chisholm.

KOCH AS A LAB: As part of the agreement, Koch and Compass will explore areas to create value with Koch’s expansive capabilities, including supply and procurement, freight and logistics, and project engineering and development support.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: “We are pleased to welcome KM&T as our investment partner and look forward to leveraging their deep expertise and proven track record of building value,” said Compass President and CEO Kevin S. Crutchfield. “Securing funding to aggressively pursue phase one of our lithium growth opportunity has been an important focus for our management team. This strategic investment will help drive our lithium project forward, strengthen our balance sheet and enhance execution capabilities across our entire platform.”

GO DEEPER: Read more about the transaction and Koch’s other investments in energy transformation.