The element being used to power our electric lives has been found in droves along the Nevada-Oregon border.

Hold onto your Tesla steering wheels and charge up your iPhone batteries! A jaw-dropping lithium deposit was found along the border of Nevada and Oregon and it might just be the goose laying golden (or should we say, lithium-ion) eggs. This seismic discovery could supercharge the electric vehicle industry.

This underground treasure found in the McDermitt Caldera is estimated to hoard between 20-40 million metric tons of lithium. That would crush the previous world record of 23 million metric tons hiding under a Bolivian salt flat according to the Guardian.

So, Nevada has lithium. What’s the big deal?

The U.S. has a meager stash of just 1 million metric tons. That’s not a lot. However a find of this is magnitude could drastically shake up prices (downward), supply security (improving) and change the geopolitical landscape. Much like oil has played a big role in worldwide political power in the past, lithium will likely be the next oil.

Now, let’s talk electric cars. You know those shiny, whisper-quiet, zero-emission beasts? Their manufacturers have been wringing their hands over predicted lithium shortages by 2025. If this comes to fruition, this could push those shortages far into the future.

Adding fuel to this electric fire is President Biden’s clean energy game plan, aiming to make EVs half of all new cars by 2030. Let’s not forget the proposed $7.5 billion investment in EV charging stations, because what’s an electric car without a place to recharge, right?

What are we waiting for? Let’s start mining!

Lithium Americas Corporation joined forces with Oregon State University for the study. There are hopes that miners could hit the lithium jackpot in the McDermitt Caldera as soon as 2026. But before you start expecting electric car prices to plummet, know it’s not all roses. The mining site is smack dab next to Thacker Pass, a contentious area plagued by protests from the native Paiutes tribe and ongoing court battles. Even NASA has expressed concerns about another flat top Nevada site rich in lithium. Why? They use it for calibrating satellites in orbit.

It wouldn’t be a precious resource if there wasn’t protest.

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