Electric vehicle demand spurs ‘white gold’ rush at California’s largest lake

The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake, is best known for increasing salinity and receding shoreline over the course of multiple decades that led to the health crisis and a massive die-off of the area’s wildlife.

That is changing as a White House push to rid cars of fossil fuels and a global hunt to source critical minerals for electric vehicle batteries is recasting the region 160 miles southeast of Los Angeles as an El Dorado for the country’s hopes to tackle climate change.

“This is a very defined boundary, very defined field, and so you can put a well down anywhere within the field and you know, strike white gold, if you want to call it that,” Rod Colwell, CEO of Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR), an Australian mining firm developing a geothermal power plant with a lithium mining plant on site, told Yahoo Finance. “The lithium resource would be the largest on the planet, fully developed… so it’s a very, very unique resource.”