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A Small County In US In Focus After Discovery Of Lithium

A county in California is in the focus of the scientific community after huge reserves of lithium. The Imperial County has so much rare earth element that 375 million batteries can be produced. The research holds important because lithium is in high demand due to the popularity of electric vehicles. Located on the Southeast border of the US state of California, it is among the least populous counties in the country. In straddles the border between the United States and Mexico.

According to SFGate, 3,400 kilotonnes of lithium was found in the Salton Sea region. The mineral is mostly found (around 80 per cent) in Australia, China and Chile, and US officials predict that the demand for lithium will skyrocket by 4,000 per cent in the coming decades.

The official website of the county said that it could take 100 years to completely extract lithium. California State government said the Salton Sea region is “believed to have the highest concentration of lithium contained in geothermal brines in the world”.

In the United States, only one per cent of global lithium is being mined and processed, according to US Geological Survey. The latest discovery is set to give a boost to this industry in the country.

Politico said in a report that EnergySource Minerals, one of three companies spearheading lithium production by the Salton Sea’s southern shore, has said it plans to start mining in 2025.

After the mining begins, the US is estimated to overtake China to become the leading country in the field of chemicals. It is expected to eliminate the reliance on imports from China and make the US totally self-sufficient in the mineral.

According to a March press release from the county, lithium extraction will be taxed, and 80 per cent of this new revenue stream is to go directly to the county.

 

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