VALE, Ore. (AP) — An Australian company has started drilling at southeast Oregon site that could eventually host a large lithium mine. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports mineral-exploration company Jindalee Resources Ltd. announced this week that it’s working to determine the extent of a lithium deposit in Malheur County. The company said the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries has approved drilling of 39 holes to shore up Jindalee’s estimate of how much lithium exists there. Jindalee has said the deposit west of the Oregon-Nevada border town of McDermitt is among the largest lithium deposits in the country. Lithium is an extremely lightweight metal that is a critical component of rechargeable batteries.