One of the largest deposits of may have been found on the border between Nevada and Oregon lithium in the world. This is not just a surprising geological and scientific discovery. If properly exploited, this resource could give an important acceleration to the race for the production of electric batteries and clean energy for United Stateswhich could thus definitively overtake China in this field.
The new Cold War in fact, it is played between space and scientific advancement, and for the obvious repercussions that progress will have on the world economy and the control of markets. Lithium, rare earths, cobalt and silicon, among all, are the elements that most influence the geopolitical structures of the contemporary era precisely because they are indispensable for the construction of new generation batteries and semiconductors.
The discovery of lithium deposits in the United States
There Lithium Americas Corporationthe GNS Science and the Oregon State University announced the discovery of the new US field in a study published on August 31st. The deposit is located in the McDermitt caldera, is over 45 km long and almost 35.5 km wide.
It could contain between 20 and 40 million tons of raw material. Numbers that make the reserves pale in comparison Chile And Australia, the first countries extracting and producing lithium in the world. If the game of transformation is in fact played against Beijing, it is against Santiago and Canberra that Washington has to deal with for the importation of the precious element.
Will the USA become the leading producing country?
The deposits of white gold, as it is called by economists, do not overall exceed the quantity of approximately 10 million tons in Chile, while those in Australia are just over 6 million. If the numbers hypothesized after the discovery between Oregon and Nevada were to be confirmed, the United States could become the first lithium mining country.
This would change the delicate global balances and market dynamics: they could be revised (downward?) i pricesto the benefit of US strategic partners in terms of energy security. Although certain, it will take many years before truly exploiting the resource and making the colossal supply chain work at full capacity.
What is lithium and why is it used in batteries
Lithium is a chemical element of the light alkali metals, and is actually one of the least heavy and least dense materials, and for this reason it is used in various fields. The best-known use, as already mentioned, concerns the production of batteries for electronic devices, such as mobile phones and smartphones, laptops, tablets, cameras and video cameras.
Similar technologies are also fitted on hybrid cars and electric cars. Lithium batteries are the most common technology for energy storage in vehicles because they have a high energy density, meaning they can store high quantities of electricity in a small space, are particularly light and sustain numerous charge and discharge cycles , reaching 100% in a short time.
Furthermore, compared to other technologies that exploit other materials and alloys, lithium is more sustainable. In fact, it can be recycled with relative ease. However, its extraction and transformation are not properly green, given the high energy consumption in the various phases. The constant increase in demand, and production with the new US field, may therefore not be exactly good news for theenvironment.