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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024

Scientists uncover £400 billion ‘white gold’ reservoir beneath California’s largest lake

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California’s Salton sea emerges as world’s largest lithium mine, paving the way for electric vehicle revolution

Scientists funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) have unveiled an extraordinary discovery beneath California’s Salton Sea, identifying it as the world’s largest lithium mine. This ‘white gold’ reservoir, previously recognized but now quantified through extensive research, is estimated to be worth a staggering £400 billion. The findings position the Salton Sea as a potential game-changer in lithium production, making the United States self-sufficient in this crucial element for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Situated in Southern California, the Salton Sea has long been known to harbor significant lithium reserves. However, a recent study has revealed the presence of approximately 18 million tons of lithium, with four million tons confirmed through drilling. This immense quantity could power over 382 million electric vehicle batteries, marking a pivotal development in the quest for sustainable energy.

California Governor Gavin Newsom likened the Salton Sea to the ‘Saudi Arabia of lithium mining,’ emphasizing the newfound significance of this location. The lithium reservoir’s potential value is underscored by the current market rate of around £29,000 per metric ton of lithium, positioning the Salton Sea atop a £400 billion fortune.

Michael McKibben, a geochemistry professor at the University of California, Riverside, and one of the report’s authors, hailed this discovery as one of the world’s largest lithium brine deposits. He expressed optimism about achieving lithium self-sufficiency in the United States, potentially ending dependence on imports from China.

The significance of the finding has been widely acknowledged, with Sammy Roth, a climate columnist for the Los Angeles Times, describing the report as ‘eye-popping.’ Roth highlighted the potential to supply batteries for an astounding 382 million electric vehicles, aligning with President Joe Biden’s ambitious plans to have 50 percent of U.S. vehicles electric by 2030.

This revelation positions the Salton Sea at the forefront of the global electric vehicle revolution, as efforts to harness its ‘white gold’ resources intensify. As the world looks towards sustainable energy solutions, the Salton Sea emerges as a beacon of hope, holding the key to a future driven by lithium-powered electric vehicles.

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