Lithium: Brines, batteries and bottlenecks

An excellent blog on lithium from the Geological Society

Mentions issues “The Lithium mining and processing industries have a huge challenge ahead in terms of delivering a steady supply as demand booms. Many expect that supply will not build as smoothly as expected. Global politics and trade are likely to add complexity going forward with the potential for trade wars in the future. There is no shortage of Lithium in the ground, but the issue around supply comes in terms of what can be extracted economically. Lithium mining operations need to ramp up considerably from the 200,000 tonnes mined annually at the moment to the 1 million tonnes needed by 2025 if they are to meet demand.”

Geological Society of London blog

Atacama Desert, Chile. (Copyright: Wikimedia Commons)

In early April, The Geological Society hosted a flagship meeting as part of the 2018 Year of Resources on Lithium: From exploration to End-user. The meeting was a fascinating insight into this increasingly important metal, all the way from exploration and extraction to its conversion into high-purity battery grade Lithium for its use in Li-ion batteries in everything from smart phones to electric vehicles (EVs) to energy storage. In this post, we delve into some of the background to the increased demand for Lithium, what it’s used for, where its extracted and the various concerns around supply security.

What is Lithium and where do we find it?

Lithium is a very reactive, soft, silvery-white metal. It is the lightest metal in the periodic table and the lightest solid element. It is this lightness along with other properties that makes it so well suited…

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1 thought on “Lithium: Brines, batteries and bottlenecks

  1. Paul Braterman

    Note also how the Chinese have bought up sources in Australia. This in addition to their investments in the rare earth metals used in wind turbine high tension steel. They, at least, while still massive users of fossil fuels, are taking the movement beyond them seriously.



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