Lithium production leads to questions about lack of regulation



An investigation by Reuters into the nation’s lithium development found a confusing mix of who might regulate such large projects as those in southern Arkansas’ Smackover play.

It found for example that in Oklahoma, no one seems to know who might regulate any lithium projects. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission contends it has no jurisdiction on such developments and the Oklahoma Department of Mines stated the same thing

Reuters quickly learned that in mineral-rich states such as Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas, it is a muddy picture of who really owns the millions of metric tons of lithium locked in the salty brines such as the Smackover play. Nor does any one seem to know definitely how the metal being developed for the nation’s growing electric vehicle industry should be valued.

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