Tesla starts hiring for its ‘license to print money,’ aka lithium refinery


Tesla is starting to hire for its new lithium refinery, which Elon Musk referred to as a “license to print money” in Corpus Christi, Texas.

In September 2022, we learned that Tesla has a plan to build a lithium refining facility on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

At the time, we knew very little about the project other than Tesla was planning on moving fast with hope to start building in Q4 2022.

A few months later, Tesla officially submitted the proposal for a project in Robstown, Texas, 25 minutes outside of Corpus Christi, with the purpose of “developing a battery-grade lithium hydroxide refining facility, the first of its kind in North America, as well as facilities to support other types of battery materials processing, refining, and manufacturing and ancillary manufacturing operations in support of Tesla’s sustainable product line.”

Tesla also confirmed that it planned to invest $365 million in the lithium plant, which would employ about 165 people full-time plus another 250 construction jobs for about two years.

It wasn’t clear what had happened to the proposal, but it now looks like it is moving forward as Tesla has started hiring for the lithium refinery.

Tesla has listed a new job opening for a “Project Scheduler” in Corpus Christi, and the automaker wrote in the job description:

As a project Scheduler, you will be playing a critical role in the construction of Tesla’s first lithium refinery plant near Corpus Christi, TX.  This role will support all project phases from engineering through commissioning of construction by providing project management with critical decision-making information that ensures projects are delivered on time. The Scheduler will collaborate closely with other functional teams throughout the project lifecycle to ensure accurate schedule development and reporting to track project performance.

Tesla is looking to move fast on the project, but the timeline to production is not clear at this point.

CEO Elon Musk has previously called lithium refining a “license to print money” due to the high margins in the industry, and he has encouraged more investment in the sector, especially in North America since the industry is dominated by China.

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