Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Lithium Mine 'For Electric Cars'

Fact Check

  • by: Madison Dapcevich
Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Lithium Mine 'For Electric Cars' AUS Gold Mine

Does a photo show a lithium mine for electric cars, as a meme on Facebook implied? No, that's not true: The photograph depicts an Australian gold mine located near Marvel Loch in Western Australia. The mine is overseen by Minjar Mine, described on its website as an Australian gold producer, developer and explorer that manages the Southern Cross Operation on behalf of Barto Gold Mining.

The post on Facebook on May 19, 2024, (archived here), implied that a photo showed a mine extracting "lithium for electric cars."

This is how the post appeared at the time of writing:

image (4).png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu May 23 18:16:32 2024 UTC)

Lead Stories determined the mine's location by first conducting a reverse image search (archived here) that returned a link to a 2015 article published by The West Australian (archived here) that identified the mine in the photograph as being "Marvel Loch mine near Southern Cross." A Google keyword search (archived here) returned the same image published by Minjar Mine (archived here).

According to its website (archived here), Minjar Gold is "an Australian gold producer, developer and explorer" that "manages the Southern Cross Operation on behalf of Barto Gold Mining." There is no mention of lithium extraction on the company's website (archived here).

The Southern Cross Operation is centered around Marvel Loch, located about 230 miles east of Perth, Western Australia, notes the project description (archived here). The image shared in the meme is also published on the company's webpage (archived here).

Shown below is the Google Earth aerial photograph of the Minjar Mine (left), which was found searching for "Marvel Loch." A side-by-side comparison of closer details in the photo shared to Facebook (right) shows similar features, including the large pit at the bottom of the photos:

Screenshot 2024-05-23 at 12.08.17 PM.png

(Source: Lead Stories composite image Google Earth and Minjar Mine screenshots taken on Wed May 22 18:08:17 2024 UTC)

Lead Stories contacted Minjar Mine for further comment and will update the article accordingly.

Lead Stories has debunked other claims related to electric vehicles, which can be read here.

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  Madison Dapcevich

Raised on an island in southeast Alaska, Madison grew up a perpetually curious tidepooler and has used that love of science and innovation in her now full-time role as a science reporter for the fact-checking publication Lead Stories.

Read more about or contact Madison Dapcevich

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