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With an eye on rapidly rising demand from Germany’s electric vehicle industry, power and mining companies alike are striving to bring to the surface lithium trapped in underground springs of boiling hot water thousands of meters below the Rhine River.

Straddling an area 300 kilometers long and up to 40 kilometers wide, the Upper-Rhine Valley in the Black Forest area of southwestern Germany holds enough lithium for more than 400 million electric cars, geologists have estimated, making it one of the world’s biggest deposits.

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