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Fri Apr 26, 2013, 11:58 PM

Newly-discovered lithium reserve could satisfy US demand for hundreds of years

This is huge. We desperately need more lithium if we want to be able to move to more electrified vehicles. Big news. IIRC most lithium now comes from Bolivia, and poorly run government mines. Hopefully we can get production up and running here quickly.



Newly-discovered lithium reserve could satisfy US demand for hundreds of years

By Chris Welchon April 26, 2013 05:54 pmEmail@chriswelch


Researchers at the University of Wyoming have discovered a new lithium reserve that could radically alter where the US sources a key component of the li-ion batteries used in consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and other technology. Currently the United States imports a vast majority of its lithium, but the newly-unearthed reserve located at Rock Springs, Wyoming could transform the US from "a significant lithium importer to an independent lithium producer" according to experts at the university's Carbon Management Institute.

Preliminary findings from a 25-square-mile area reveal up to 228,000 tons of lithium waiting to be harnessed more than enough to satisfy annual US demand. But the Rock Springs Uplift covers 20,000 square miles, and under a "best-case scenario" scientists believe the promising resource could provide a total of 18 million tons of lithium. That would match global production rates for 720 years. "More work must be done to fully assess the potential, but our research is very encouraging at this point," says deputy director Shanna Dahl. Lithium's not exactly rare to come by, but the economic significance and potential for new jobs make the discovery all the more exciting.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/26/4271632/new-lithium-reserve-could-satisfy-us-demand

12 replies, 1625 views

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Reply Newly-discovered lithium reserve could satisfy US demand for hundreds of years (Original post)
Quixote1818 Apr 2013 OP
rightsideout Apr 2013 #1
Quixote1818 Apr 2013 #3
Mopar151 Apr 2013 #6
Exultant Democracy Apr 2013 #2
The Second Stone Apr 2013 #11
gordianot Apr 2013 #4
KentuckyWoman Apr 2013 #5
Mopar151 Apr 2013 #9
reformist2 Apr 2013 #10
Mopar151 Apr 2013 #12
SoCalDem Apr 2013 #7
jberryhill Apr 2013 #8

Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 12:11 AM

1. That's great news!

Maybe lithium will start to get cheaper and I'll be able to afford to replace the lead batteries in my EV with Lithium. Right now lithium batteries are about $100 per 200 watt hours.

[link:|

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Response to rightsideout (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 12:16 AM

3. Good point. nt

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Response to rightsideout (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:34 AM

6. Nice job on the EV. Your conversion?

I worked with several former Solectria engineers & techs backalong. And, beleive it or not, there is more rational discussion of electrics, solar/electric flyweights around the campfire/dinner table/bar in our hillclimb series than about anywhere.
Y'all be careful - it's also the first place I learned about Lithium battery fires, not to mention battery -powered electrical fires in wrecks. (of conventionally fueled vehicles)

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 12:14 AM

2. Yes lets hurry and use it in 100 years, I'm sure no one will need any after that.

l

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Response to Exultant Democracy (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 01:21 AM

11. lithium in batteries can be recycled again and again

 

and is less toxic than lead, which can also be recycled over and over for battery use.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 12:35 AM

4. Darn that trumps the vast quantities found in Afghanistan.

Of course mining is not real feasible while you are busy killing each other.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 12:44 AM

5. lithium mines

For sure an improvement over what we have now. Let's hope 100 yrs from now we've figured out a way to power our lives without having to rip the planet open and poison everything.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 01:06 AM

9. I don't know how safe lithium mining is,

Bt we'd otta ask a question or 2. OTOH, if anybody could benefit from a trace of lithium in the water, it's probably Wyoming.
On a serious, there are a lot of strategic materials whose sources are far from optimum - I remember seeing a cobalt industry newsletter years ago, and their whole industry was messed because most of the worlds sources are in the hands of a variety pack of unsavory dictators.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 01:10 AM

10. From what I understand, a lot of lithium 'mining' is just skimming off dried salt-lake beds.


Very unusual stuff.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 10:06 AM

12. Bonneville Salt Flats

Was nearly ruined by potash mining, all done with brine pumping. The racers mounted a years-long campaign to pump the salt back to the flats after the potash was extracted. "Save the Salt" worked with the BLM and the mining company for years to make this happen, and so far, it's working well - bringing back a 1/2 " of "good" salt per year.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:46 AM

7. Laura Bush's medicine cabinet?

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:09 AM

8. How many bi-polar cases are there?

 

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