by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Geologists in the US are working to confirm their belief that a lithium mineral deposit potentially worth $1.48 trillion is located in the McDermitt caldera on the border of Oregon and Nevada, Extreme Tech reports. Experts believe 40 million metric tons of lithium may be hidden in the caldera, a massive cauldron-shaped depression formed by the Yellowstone volcanic hotspot.
The demand for lithium has grown substantially since the expansion of the electric car market and other government initiatives, and mining companies are keen to find newer, larger deposits of the precious mineral, Extreme Tech notes. The US Geological Survey and the Lithium Nevada Corp. mining company are among those who have been working to locate fresh sources of lithium.
Concerning the potentially massive source at the McDermitt caldera, Anouk Borst, a geologist not involved in the project, told the Royal Society of Chemistry: “If you believe their back-of-the-envelope estimation, this is a very, very significant deposit of lithium. It could change the dynamics of lithium globally, in terms of price, security of supply, and geopolitics.”
However, mining at the McDermitt caldera is set to be controversial as the site is important to indigenous communities, including the Fort McDermitt Paiute, Shoshone, and Bannock tribes, Extreme Tech reports.
“The Caldera holds many first foods, medicines, and hunting grounds for tribal people both past and present,” the People of Red Mountain, a committee representing the local indigenous communites, said in a statement. “The global search for lithium has become a form of ‘green’ colonialism. The people most connected to the land suffer while those severed from it benefit.”
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