- The discovery of 5.9 tonnes of lithium deposits in Jammu and Kashmir, a first for India, would reduce the need for imports and improve employment opportunities, officials in the Union Territory said on Friday, adding that the find was a major boost to the manufacture of rechargeable batteries for smartphones, laptops and electric cars.
- The lithium inferred resources have been established in Reasi district. “There was a presence of bauxite in composite form and during its processing lithium was also discovered. We had explored it earlier also but now this time it has been approved by the Geological Survey of India (GSI
- The mineral blocks are likely to be auctioned after sanction from the Central government.
- The GSI had said on Thursday that lithium inferred resources had been found in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi.
- The geological reports on reaching the G2 and G3 stages of exploration were discussed during the 62nd Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) meeting held in New Delhi on Thursday.
- Around 51 mineral blocks have been identified across the country, including J&K, based on the work carried out by the GSI from field seasons 2018-19 till date.
- Residents of Salal expressed their delight after the news of the discovery spread. “Surveyors from the GSI have been visiting and taking samples from Salal area in the past two years.
- Finally, we get to hear the good news. It will go a long way in addressing unemployment issues here,” Rajinder Singh, a local Naib Sarpanch.
- Earlier, the Mines ministry had said that to strengthen the critical mineral supply chain for emerging technologies, the government was taking several measures to secure minerals, including lithium, from Australia and Argentina. Currently, India is import-dependent for many minerals like lithium, nickel and cobalt.
lithium (Li), chemical element of Group 1 (Ia) in the periodic table, lightest of the solid elements. The metal itself—which is soft, white, and lustrous—and several of its alloys and compounds are pr
|lement Properties||atomic number 3|
|atomic weight 6.941||melting point 180.5 °C (356.9 °F)|
|boiling point 1,342 °C (2,448 °F)||specific gravity 0.534 at 20 °C (68 °F)|
|oxidation state +1||electron configuration 2-1 or 1s22s1|
- Discovered in 1817 by Swedish chemist Johan August Arfwedson in the mineral petalite, lithium is also found in brine deposits and as salts in mineral springs; its concentration in seawater is 0.1 part per million (ppm).
- Lithium is also found in pegmatite ores, such as spodumene (LiAlSi2O6) and lepidolite (of varying structure), or in amblygonite (LiAlFPO4) ores, with Li2O contents ranging between 4 and 8.5 percent. It constitutes about 0.002 percent of Earth’s crust.
- Until the 1990s the lithium chemical and metal market was dominated by American production from mineral deposits, but by the turn of the 21st century most production was derived from non-U.S. sources; Australia, Chile, and Portugal were the world’s largest suppliers.
- (Bolivia has half the world’s lithium deposits but is not a major producer of lithium.) The major commercial form is lithium carbonate, Li2CO3, produced from ores or brines by a number of different processes. Addition of hydrochloric acid (HCl) produces lithium chloride, which is the compound used to produce lithium metal by electrolysis Lithium metal is produced by electrolysis of a fused mixture of lithium and potassium chlorides.
- The lower melting point of the mixture (400–420 °C, or 750–790 °F) compared with that of pure lithium chloride (610 °C, or 1,130 °F) permits lower-temperature operation of the electrolysis.
- Since the voltage at which decomposition of lithium chloride takes place is lower than that of potassium chloride, lithium is deposited at a purity level greater than 97 percent. Graphite anodes are used in the electrolytic production of lithium, while the cathodes are made of steel.
- The pure lithium formed at the cathode coalesces at the surface of the electrolyte to form a molten pool, which is protected from reaction with air by a thin film of the electrolyte.
- The lithium is ladled from the cell and cast by pouring it into a mold at a temperature only slightly above the melting point, leaving the solidified electrolyte behind.
- The solidified lithium is then remelted, and materials insoluble in the melt either float to the surface or sink to the bottom of the melt pot.
- The remelting step reduces the potassium content to less than 100 parts per million. Lithium metal, which can be drawn into wire and rolled into sheets, is softer than lead but harder than the other alkali metals and has the body-centred cubic crystal structure
- Many lithium alloys are produced directly by the electrolysis of molten salts, containing lithium chloride in the presence of a second chloride, or by the use of cathode materials that interact with the deposited lithium, introducing other elements into the melt.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB