Firms that are developing the state's nascent lithium sector near the Salton Sea area said it would delay or lead to the cancellation of projects in the state designed to supply battery metals to electric vehicle manufacturers.
Lithium will be taxed at $400 a tonne for production up to 20,000 tonnes, rising to $600 a tonne for production between 20,000-30,000 tonnes and $800 a tonne for production over 30,000 tonnes.
The state decided against a percentage basis tax as it could be open to fraud, it said.
The tax will go into effect in January, 2023.
Revenue from the tax will be used for environmental remediation projects.
Firms developing the lithium sector in the state include privately owned firms Controlled Thermal Resources, which has agreements to supply lithium to General Motors and Stellantis, and EnergySource Minerals.