belt and road lithium

Lithium: Why the Mineral is so Valuable

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Lithium is commonly used in EV batteries

Lithium: Powering the Electric Vehicle Revolution

When it comes to sustainability, everyone knows how important electric vehicles (EVs) are.

Meanwhile, everyone understands how important smartphones and PCs are for economic growth.

But what about the resource powering these technologies?

Let’s take a look at lithium: the world’s lightest metal.

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A lithium-ion battery

In Electric Vehicle Batteries

Today, a global lithium shortage rages. As a result, companies and national governments fight to secure mining projects.

A major reason: the mineral powers clean transportation tech.

Companies like Tesla, VW and Renault-Nissan work tirelessly to make EVs a part of middle-class American life. Their greatest challenge: creating lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries that hold long charges.

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Li-ion batteries power most consumer electronics, like film cameras

In Consumer Electronics

Laptops and Smartphones have been using Li-ion batteries for years, replacing the lead-acid alternative.

This development accelerated demand in the 90s. Consequently, it was relied on to power the growing information technology sector.

For this reason, the technology behind Li-ion batteries improves every year. Meanwhile, so do expectations. Better smartphones mean a more powerful battery is needed.

Behold the great clean energy paradox.

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The mineral is commonly used in pharmaceutical applications

In Other Applications

It’s also used in ceramics, glass, medicine and various other applications.

Used to treat mental illness for years, it’s original purpose was treating bipolar disorder.

However, the resource is also used around the house. It’s found in windows, oven elements and pottery.

Without it, moulds don’t hold.

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An evaporation pond from Ultra Lithium’s Borita Brine site in Argentina

Eco-Friendly Mining

Especially in the case of brine, mining leaves a tiny environmental footprint.

Ultra Lithium has various sites in South America where the resource is extracted from ‘salars’. These are large evaporation pools.

To start, geological surveys are conducted and several test holes are drilled. Eventually, the mineral reaches the surface, ready to be refined and placed into an eco-friendly battery.

Mining can’t get much cleaner.

 

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of clean energy experts with a finger on the pulse of mining news, ULI is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).