The United States has so much lithium they do not have to worry about it anymore.
For the umpteenth time, finding lithium isn’t the hard part. It’s the mining and refining that is a messy, nasty, and environmentally unfriendly process.
Not for Nevada LOL.
Reminds me of a Jewish joke, “When Jews have nothing to worry about they worry that things can’t be this good.”
Finding lithium isn’t the problem, but finding lithium deposits in sufficient concentration to make mining economical is a problem. The article was a little ambiguous, but the Thacker Pass deposit was previously known, and in fact mining operations have completed permitting and are in the construction phase. The discovery seems to be additional lithium deposits in the same area (McDermitt Caldera).
I’m just throwing spaghetti here…but the McDermitt caldera was created by the mantle plume which is now responsible for the Yellowstone Supervolcano. It is theorized the mantle plume transported lithium from the Earth’s mantle to the surface.
But there are more calderas associated with the Yellowstone mantle plume and I have to wonder if lithium is also found on those locations and how extensively those areas have been explored. If we look at the graphic from wiki below, the McDerrmitt caldera (designated 16.1 in the graphic) is on the left. There are six more calderas, one of which is Yellowstone on the right (0.6-2.1). Mining is off the table for that one. But the remaining five are all located in fairly undeveloped areas. There are some cities and agriculture near the Snake River, but not much else through that whole region.
Tesla does refining and claims to do it cleanly.
The company promised in its filings that “the process Tesla will use is innovative and designed to consume less hazardous reagents and create usable byproducts compared to the conventional process.”
Tesla will probably do the mining too if necessary. It does have the Boring company afterall…
It’ll be interesting to see Musk negotiating with the First Nations for the rights to mine reservation land.