A recent report released by a team of American geological experts has caused a stir regarding a discovery that could fast-track the United States’ shift to green-powered vehicles.
The joint team made up of experts from GNS Science, Lithium Americas Corporation, and Oregon State University confirmed the existence of a major lithium deposit on the Nevada-Oregon border. Located within the McDermitt Caldera, it is estimated that the deposit could yield between 20 and 40 metric tons of battery -grade lithium.
Given how this deposit is considerably larger than known deposits in Australia and Chile, it could completely change the economic tenor of the lithium industry in terms of overall supply, pricing, and even the geopolitical situation.
Not So Fast
But this discovery comes with a caveat, particularly from geopolitical experts.
According to strategist Peter Zeihan, the deposit may look promising, but he reminded people that the location has never been the subject of active mineral prospecting. As such, it is far too early for the McDermitt deposit to be of any significant impact to the industry.
Zeihan went on to say that those involved with the initiative need to prove the area’s viability for mining and, consequently, put up the necessary infrastructure.
A Timely Study
The joint research teams published their findings last August 31st in the journal Science Advances. The timing of the publication is seen as particularly timely in light of the ongoing crisis in terms of the global lithium supply.
With shortages looming on the horizon, automotive firms throughout the world are scrambling to secure their respective lithium stockpiles for production.
Indeed, the rush to secure lithium supplies has led to conflict between nations, as well as protests from environmental groups who want companies to take a good look at the ecological impact of mining initiatives.
Experts have warned that even the slightest reduction in the global lithium supply could throw a wrench into any plans to expand production and boost EV sales.