It’s Thiess' first lithium contract and we take some time to learn more about this soft, silvery-white alkali metal, most commonly used to enable electric vehicles and battery-based energy storage systems.
What is Lithium?
Lithium is a metal that is only found naturally bonded to other elements in igneous rocks and mineral springs. It is the lightest metal and has the lowest density of any solid element. Although it is a metal, it is soft enough to cut with a knife.
Along with hydrogen and helium, lithium was one of the three elements produced in large quantities by the Big Bang.
Did you know?
Australia is one of the world’s biggest producers and exporters of Lithium.
Lithium has many industrial uses including, heat-resistant glass and ceramics, lithium grease lubricants, flux additives for iron, steel and aluminium production, lithium batteries and lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are used in electric vehicles and a number of portable electronics such as mobile phones and cameras.
Lithium is also used in medicine to treat bipolar disorder, helping stabilise wild mood swings caused by the illness.
Lithium is crucial to the energy transition. It is a key element used in batteries for both electric vehicles and for power grid stabilisation for intermittent renewables.
A single Tesla electric vehicle has about 10kg of lithium in it. 1T of lithium is needed to build about 90 electric vehicles.