Chinese scientists have announced that there could be a vast deposit of lithium, one of the most sough-after metals on Earth, located in the region around Mount Everest. Recently, global demand for the metal has gone through the roof, with prices reaching record levels, reports the South China Morning Post. The ore deposit may contain as much as 1.0125 million tonnes of lithium oxide, according to the group of scientists from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
The spot price of lithium metal in the Chinese market soared to more than RMB 2 million ($316,000) per tonne earlier this month—more than four times the price a year ago. But it is not yet known how much the new Himalayan deposit—dubbed Qiongjiagang, after the nearest peak—could be worth.
It may also be the country’s third-largest lithium deposit after one at the Bailong Mountain site in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and the Jiajika deposit in Sichuan province, according to a report by China Science Daily, a newspaper backed by the CAS.