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World's largest lithium deposit discovered in California's Salton Sea

Utkarsh Classes 02-01-2024
World's largest lithium deposit discovered in California's Salton Sea Environment 3 min read

The US Department of Energy has discovered the world's largest lithium deposit beneath California's Salton Sea, containing an estimated 18 million tons of lithium.

  • Total resources in the Salton Sea area could produce more than 3,400 kilotons of lithium, valued at upto $540 billion.
  • This is enough to manufacture more than 375 million batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).
  • This discovery will greatly benefit the United States as the United States currently has limited capabilities to extract, refine and produce domestically obtained lithium. It typically imports about half of its lithium from Chile and Argentina.

About Salton Sea:

  • It is a shallow, brackish lake located in the lower Colorado Desert of Southern California (USA).
  • It is a geological depression located between mountain ranges and below sea level.
  • The present lake was formed in 1905 by the flow of water from the Colorado River.
  • It is currently 228 feet below sea level.
  • It has an area of 970 km² and includes 130 miles of coastline.
  • Its average depth is 29.9 feet and the maximum depth is 51 feet.
  • Its salinity (about 45 parts per thousand) is much higher than seawater.
  • The Salton Sea is an important stopover point for migratory waterbirds and serves as an important habitat for birds moving south to Mexico and Central America.

Key facts about Lithium:

  • It is a chemical element whose symbol is (Li).
  • It is soft and white like silver.
  • It is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element.
  • It is alkaline and a rare metal.
  • Lithium has atomic number 3 and an atomic weight of 6.941u.

Uses :

  • Lithium is an important metal for making rechargeable batteries for mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and electric vehicles.
  • It is also used to make non-rechargeable batteries for things like heart pacemakers, toys and watches.
  • Lithium metal is alloyed with aluminium and magnesium, improving their strength and making them lighter.

Countries with the largest lithium reserves:

  • Chile > Australia > Argentina

Largest lithium-producing countries:

  • Australia > Chile > China

FAQ

Ans - Under the Salton Sea of California

Ans - The Salton Sea is located in the lower Colorado Desert of Southern California (USA).

Ans-Li

Ans - Lithium's atomic number is 3 and its atomic weight is 6.941u.

Ans-Chile
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