A war is brewing over lithium mining at the edge of Death Valley
As the plane bypassed the mountains on the edge of Death Valley National Park, a group of passengers and environmental activists watched the roasted salt thousands of feet below.
The desolate beauty of the Panamint Valley has long attracted a variety of naturalists, adventurers and social outcasts --
Including Charles Manson. off-
Road vehicle passengers and top fighter pilots who exploded overhead during a simulated dogfight.
Now, this prehistoric lake bed is forming a battlefield that is unlikely to be possible between eco-activists and battery technology experts who think the area could be the key to carbon emissions --free future.
Headquartered in battery Mineral Resources Co. , Ltd.
The federal government is required to allow four exploration wells to be drilled to see if the hot salt water at the bottom of the Valley contains economically viable lithium concentrations.
White metal is a key component of rechargeable lithium
It is essential for the production of electric and hybrid vehicles.
The drilling request raised strong opposition from the Biodiversity Center, Sierra Club and wildlife defenders who said the drilling project would be the first step in creating a complete drilling project
Scale of lithium mining operations.
They say the exploitation of lithium will bring about industrial expansion, huge and ugly dry ponds and threaten a fragile ecosystem that supports Nelson\'s big horn sheep, desert turtles and
\"A lithium mine will destroy these spectacular panoramas,\" said drilling rival Tom Braun recently . \" He and other activists took a chartered Ecoflight plane over the Panamint Valley.
The battle may be fierce.
It is expected that lithium will play an increasingly important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, designated by the Trump administration as a mineral essential to the US economy and national security.
In addition to powering countless laptops and phones, lithium-
Ion batteries may also play a role in preventing wire fires.
The only lithium mine in North America that can play a role is located about 150 miles from Clayton Valley, New York.
Most of the lithium now used for batteries comes from so-
Known as the lithium triangle of South America
A region that includes the world\'s largest salt beach. For dyed-in-the-
Wool activists believe that the brewing war on lithium mining has morally created a dilemma because it seems to upset their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
With the lightest metal in the world, rechargeable lithium-
Ion batteries allow vehicles to operate on electricity generated by wind turbines, solar panels, hydropower stations and other clean energy sourcesenergy sources.
In California alone, officials want to see as many as 5 million such zeros.
By 2030, vehicles were discharged on the National Highway.
Drilling opponents also acknowledge that the burden of producing lithium should not fall solely on countries that restrict less health and safety regulations and environmental safeguards.
\"This is a tricky issue,\" said Lisa Belenky, a senior lawyer at the Center for Biodiversity.
\"For example, we should not export these sacrifices to Bolivia and Argentina because there is a large amount of lithium mine there.
. . . . . . We also think that Panamint Valley is not the right place for it.
\"The drilling sites in Inyo County are regulated by the United States. S.
Under federal law, the land authority has an obligation not only to protect public land, but also to make public land productive.
BLM must set aside some land for mining and wilderness, wildlife and off-site
The same is true for road vehicles and passengers.
But environmental activists say the agency is too inclined in the demand for business interests to stay away from the long term
Health of public natural resources.
They are concerned that the approval of the plan could trigger a \"white gold rush\" in the Southern California desert \".
Nearly 2,000 lithium claims have been filed on 30,000 acres of public land managed by BLM, California.
In its formal response to the drilling proposal, more than a dozen environmental organizations expressed concern about the impact of industrial mining on groundwater and surface water if exploration ledscale mine.
The environmental assessment \"does not include surveying and mapping of the boundary of the flood plain, nor does it include any hydrological modeling or analysis,\" the response said \".
\"There is no discussion about the risk of cross-contamination from deep salt water to freshwater aquifer, and it seems that drilling site recycling practices do not take this risk into account.
\"Officials at Death Valley National Park opposed the plan.
Suput, Death Valley National Park, said there would be \"a lot of water demand\" for large mining operations \".
Mike Reynolds wrote in his comments submitted to BLM.
Reynolds says the area\'s water flows down from the park to the mining area at the bottom of the valley.
\"This water usually helps to support wildlife in the local ecosystem,\" he wrote . \". The U. S.
The Land Administration is expected to make a final decision later this year on the request for battery mineral resources.
Battery minerals failed to respond to multiple requests for comment on the proposal.
However, the environmental assessment of its exploratory program concluded that it would be safe to prevent significant environmental harm and comply with state and federal regulations.
As of April, the company reported that the anticipated costs for exploration, claim maintenance and payment to a geological consultant in Arroyo Grande exceeded $7 million.
Panamint Valley shares many of the geological features seen in the lucrative lithium
Salt water deposits in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Nevada: dry climate, active faults, basins surrounded by rocky mountains, and underground salt pools heated by geothermal activity.
Lithium salt mines account for the majority of the world\'s lithium production.
This process involves pumping water from the reservoir and placing it in a series of large evaporation pools.
Over time, lithium becomes more concentrated and can be separated from water and treated.
In addition to Panamint Valley, there are also claims for lithium mining in parts of the Amargosa Basin near Nev Beatty.
Including the Amargosa River listed as the National Wild and Scenic River earlier this year.
An expert said that although environmental activists fear that lithium will be run, mining is not an easy task. A years-
Long-term efforts to build an island in the Sarton sea of Imperial County have not yet yielded results.
\"On the surface, it seems simple to extract lithium from salt water --
Pump it out of the ground and transfer it to the evaporation pool, leaving a lot of dry products ready for shipment, \"said Brian Jaskula of American Airlines. S.
Expert in mining Geological Survey.
Parans Paranthaman said that ion batteries are currently dominant in the electric vehicle market and they face competition from a range of new, more affordable and environment-safe technologies, team leader, Chemical Science Department, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee. \"Lithium-
\"The ion battery developed in 1991 is the most feasible in the short term,\" he said . \".
\"But in addition to lithium, there will be zinc, sodium, magnesium and potassium batteries soon. \"Dr. Patrick Soon-
Shiong, the owner of the Los Angeles Times, is also the chairman of Southern day energy.
A company that develops rechargeable zinc
Air batteries, and mixed zinc-Air and lithiumion battery.
The batteries are mainly used in micro-grid and communication facilities.
A recent working day, in this sparsely populated Inyo County area, there was disagreement over the prospect of lithium mining.
65-year-old Locke Novak is the administrator of the trading station during the strike. it-
The rich Ballarat Ghost City tells anyone who is willing to listen to environmental protection that environmental protection is an unwelcome violation of the region\'s freedom to enjoy freedom free from Daily rules and regulations.
Sitting in a chair on a wooden porch, gazing at the high-salt apartment carrying the frenzyspeed off-
Novak said, \"I would rather see this desert destroyed by mining than the dictatorship of the National Park Authority.
\"Not far away, in The Amazing canyon, the hikers stroll along a perennial spring Trail --
Earlier this year, cotton trees and wild orchids were designated as National Wild and Scenic Rivers.
Most hikers are part of a wilderness Torah outdoor camping event to celebrate the spiritual connection between Judaism and nature.
Another hiker is David Ramon, director of the National Park Conservation Association\'s California and desert program.
Who wants to know the charm of Surprise Canyon-
Silence, loneliness, beauty of nature
Faced with pumping systems, evaporation pools and heavy equipment spread over thousands of acres, I can survive.
\"This is a mining project that puts the wrong place, and the public has agreed that it should be protected in the coming generations,\" Lamfrom said . \".
\"It makes no sense to give up these commitments.