Scientists Discover $540 Billion Worth Of 'White Gold' Sitting Beneath Giant Lake

Scientists discover $540 billion worth of 'white gold' sitting beneath giant lake. The amount is enough to power more than 382 million batteries

Salton Sea

Salton Sea is the biggest lake in California and is in the southern part of the state. It is on a lithium reservoir.

Scientists knew the chemical element was there, but they didn't know how much was under the lake. The real amount is really amazing.

Last year, it was found that there may be 18 million tons of lithium, which is also called "white gold" because of how valuable it is and how it looks. This is a huge amount more than the four million tons that were thought to be out there.

To give you an idea, this would power more than 382 million electric car batteries.

The real number was found in a study of the Salton Sea that was paid for by the Department of Energy (DOE) and tried to find out how much lithium is below the large body of water.

The Salton Sea has been called the "Saudi Arabia of lithium mining" by California Governor Gavin Newsom, and it's now clear why. With the new find, the pond in California is now the biggest in the world.

Twelve tons of lithium were worth about $29,000 a year ago.

With that number in mind, Salton Sea could be on top of $540 billion worth of goods.

Michael McKibben, a geochemistry professor at the University of California, Riverside, and one of the 22 people who wrote the study said, "This is one of the largest lithium brine deposits in the world.

"This could make the United States completely self-sufficient in lithium and stop importing it through China."

Others in the field have called the discovery "huge."

On the KJZZ radio show The Show, climate writer Sammy Roth said, "It's been known for a long time that there's a whole bunch of lithium in this super heated underground pool, sort of deep beneath the the southern end of the Salton Sea."

Roth went on to say, "There have been companies for decades, actually that have been trying to get lithium out of there, and especially in the last decade as electric vehicles and energy storage on the the power grid become such a big need.

"But this this new report out of the federal government it's really a sort of eye popping number. They found that there's potentially enough lithium down there to supply batteries for 382 million electric vehicles, which is more, more vehicles than there are on the road in the United States today.

"So, if we could get all that lithium, that'd be huge."