A lithium deposit discovered in a volcanic crater along the Nevada-Oregon border may hold up to 40 million metric tons of the rare metal — possibly the largest ever in the world, which could have a massive impact on the electric vehicle industry.
The deposit hidden within the McDermitt Caldera would be nearly double the current record of about 23 million metric tons found over the summer beneath a Bolivian salt flat.
It would also greatly boost America’s overall lithium reserves, which were previously estimated at a paltry 1 million metric tons.
Belgian geologist Anouk Borst said that if the estimate proves true, the sudden overabundance of American lithium – the metal sought after by electric vehicle makers – could have global impacts.
Electric vehicle makers have bemoaned estimates that “white gold” supplies will fall short by 2025, with China, the US and several South American countries vying to locate large deposits to meet the increasing demand.
The McDermitt Caldera mine is located beside the Thacker Pass mine, which has seen protests from the native Paiutes tribe and court challenges over the last three years.
Meanwhile, NASA voiced its opposition in June to mining the Railroad Valley tabletop flat because its undisturbed standing is key to calibrating the measurements of hundreds of satellites orbiting the Earth.
Source: New York Post