Friday, Jan. 20, 2023 | 2 a.m.
Jaak Daemen’s column, “Mining is best way to address threat of foreign mineral cartel” (Jan. 15) hit the nail on the head. Through regulation and industry’s quest for low prices, we have let other nations develop and sell us resources that we could have been producing ourselves.
With the current emphasis on fighting climate change, the world needs to end its dependence on fossil fuels for producing reliable energy. To supply the automobile industry’s move from internal combustion engines to electric power sources, the U.S. must start producing its own sources of lithium and other minerals. Currently, our only developed source of lithium can supply only about one-fifth of the what’s needed at Elon Musk’s battery gigafactory in Northern Nevada. Additionally, that lithium must be shipped to China for processing to battery-grade usage.
Nevada has what is believed to be the largest lithium deposit in the country. It has other large sources of lithium as well. These deposits must be mined to recover the much-needed mineral. Currently, development of these resources is being held up in court cases brought by conservationists, Indigenous people and others.
In order to eliminate the use of fossil fuels for sources of energy, we must make some sacrifices. In the history of the Earth, over 99% of all species have gone extinct. If climate change is not controlled, the few species we are trying to protect might well become extinct also.
We must start mining and processing lithium to meet domestic needs.