Australian company begins drilling for lithium in southeastern Oregon

VALE – An Australian company has started drilling at a site in southeast Oregon that could potentially host a large lithium mine.

The mineral exploration company Jindalee Resources Ltd. announced this week that it was working to determine the extent of a lithium deposit in southern Malheur County, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

The company said in a press release that the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries has approved 39-hole drilling to support Jindalee’s estimate of how much lithium is there.

Jindalee said the deposit west of the Oregon-Nevada border town of McDermitt is among the largest lithium deposits in the United States.

Bob Brinkmann, the state’s mineral land reclamation and regulation office, said this was the first application received to explore for lithium in Oregon.

A request for comment from Jindalee’s media was not returned.

Lithium is an extremely light metal considered the key to a global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies. The element is an essential component of rechargeable batteries used to power electric vehicles and store energy generated by elements such as wind and solar energy.

The Biden administration has said it wants to dramatically increase the amount of lithium sourced and processed in the United States. Jindalee says the McDermitt Lithium Project has the potential to do both.

A lithium mine project on the Nevada caldera has been controversial for its potential ecological damage, the desecration of a historic massacre site and possible disturbances to farming.

– The Associated Press

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