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Largest lithium reserve in the WORLD discovered with capacity to produce 375 million electric vehicles

Written by Valdemar Medeiros
Published 22/05/2024 às 22:54
Largest lithium reserve in the WORLD discovered with capacity to produce 375 million electric vehicles
Photo: Lithium Reserve

The world's largest lithium reserve was discovered in the United States. Understand how this huge deposit can supply lithium demand to produce millions of electric vehicles for years.

That Lake Salton, located in California, is a large reserve of lithium is nothing new. However, now, a study carried out by the US Department of Energy has concluded that the reserves of the coveted mineral are much greater than previously imagined, and could be a leap forward for the electric vehicle industry. It seems that the largest lithium reserve in the world has been hidden in the USA all this time.

This could be the largest lithium reserve in the world

The huge underground reserve located beneath the lake bed contains enough lithium to build batteries for 375 million electric vehicles, making it one of the largest lithium deposits in the world. A new U.S. Department of Energy study released in recent months is the first to quantify how much of the valuable metal is down there, and it's much more than previously thought.

Researchers of Lawrence Berkey National Laboratory claim the reserve can support production of 3.400 tons of lithium. According to information, the United States currently has around 2,4 million registered electric vehicles. Some claim that this market is expected to explode in 2030, with predictions that we could experience a lithium shortage as early as 2025.

O Salton Sea has undergone a number of green energy research, with companies of all sizes trying to evaluate how to extract lithium from the depths of the southern end of the lake. Of the new discoveries, the energy department says all the mineral found in the world's largest lithium reserve could allow the country to meet or exceed global lithium demand for decades, according to a press release.

Millions of dollars are invested in the world's largest lithium reserve

For Michael McKibben, professor of geochemistry and one of the study's authors, the discovery is very significant, making the Salton Sea one of the largest lithium deposits in the world. This could make the US completely self-sufficient in lithium, eliminating the need to import from China.

Caldera and sedimentary deposits of McDermitt Volcano

It is important to mention that finding a way to harness and extract the mineral from the world's largest lithium reserve on a commercial scale is a challenging task. However, some companies are already working on this and ensuring large investments to boost the electric vehicle sector.

The California Energy Commission awarded a $6 million grant to Berkshire Hathaway Energy, as well as a $1,46 million grant to Controlled Thermal Resources a few years ago, to develop extraction techniques in the world's largest lithium reserve. .

In 2021 the GM has partnered with Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) to secure lithium from the Salton Sea, and Stellantis has also entered into agreements with CTR. EnergySource Minerals, which opened its first geothermal plant in 2012, and Ford have also signed contracts to extract lithium.

No company has been able to extract ore from the world's largest lithium reserve

Instead of drilling in the open and generating huge pools of evaporation, which can take months and years and leave destruction in its wake, the plan is to extract lithium in a more environmentally friendly way. Companies are working toward a direct lithium extraction technology that can extract the brine and separate the lithium from other metals.

This is certainly a compelling development in the long-running saga of the Salton Sea. The Los Angeles Times states that no company has been able to extract the mineral from the site, and it is an expensive and complicated endeavor, with the salt alone quickly corroding equipment.

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Valdemar Medeiros

Journalist in training, specialist in creating content with a focus on SEO actions. Writes about the Automotive Industry, Renewable Energy and Science and Technology

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