April 19th, 2016
Lithium for Gaia
They're out there now. Scouring the earth for the good lithium brine. That's the stuff that yields the white gold, the new petroleum.
Lithium is number three on your periodic table of elements. It's a soft, silver-white metal. Doesn't go around by itself, prefers compounds, primarily brines and clays.
Lithium salts are classified as a “mood stabilizer.” Apparently it decreases the risk of suicide in cases of bi-polarity. Naturally occurring lithium in drinking water has been credited with lower general rates of suicide.
The energy storage business (batteries) could be much larger than the electric car business. At the moment, that's a business based on mining the good lithium.
Bolivia has mineral-rich aquifers, so does Nevada and Wyoming. A few corporation control the business. Without lithium for batteries, electric cars don't go mainstream. And once they go mainstream, lithium will be essential for life as we know it.
We talk about the Permian and the Bakken, but soon we'll be talking about Wyoming's Rock Springs Uplift. It's all about the possibility of steady supply of cheap, high-quality lithium.
The human-dominated social space is about to get a big dose of lithium. I wonder how it will change us.