The largest known lithium deposit in the United States is in northern Nevada, and a mining company says it has big plans for the property.
The largest known lithium deposit in the United States is in northern Nevada, and a mining company says it has big plans for the property. The high-grade, highly-concentrated mineral is found in the McDermitt Caldera, stretching from Humboldt County into Oregon.
“Chevron started drilling this site out back in the 70s, looking for uranium and they found lithium instead, so it’s a known resource,” Alexi Zawadzki, CEO of Lithium Nevada said. “The McDermitt Caldera is one of the most highly mineralized calderas in the world.”
A prehistoric volcano created the caldera, which turned into a lake. The lithium is in the clay that sat at the bottom of the water. “This was basically the Yellowstone hot spot, which has moved over the last 16 million years to the east and this is a geological artifact of that,” Zawadzki said.
Lithium Nevada says it will start mining at Thacker Pass in 2022, initially producing about 30,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate. It will begin production on its second phase in 2025, doubling that number. Officials say it will provide 25% of the world’s lithium and will have a mine life of at least 46 years.
“We found an area that we can mine at a good rate for 46 years,” Tim Crowley, Vice President of Government Affairs & Community Relations for Lithium Nevada said. “That’s almost unheard of.”
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