Lithium is a critical component of batteries for electric vehicles and demand has increased sharply in recent years. So has the price. According to Reuters, "BMI's assessment puts the mid-point of Chinese lithium carbonate prices in December at $39,250 a tonne, a gain of 485.8% from the same period a year ago."
Last week, China announced it discoved a 1.0125 million tonne deposit of lithium oxide near Qomolangma (aka Mount Everest). At current prices, the deposit is worth almost $40 billion.
From South China Morning Post:
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.
The content rate of lithium oxide in the newly discovered deposit is also high enough to be of "industrial value", according to the report.
"The Qiongjiagang lithium pegmatite deposit has good conditions for mining," Qin Kezhang, the head of the research team, was quoted as saying.