Good Morning Afganistan

In the 1970’s Russian led explorations into Northern Afghanistan discovered most of the oil and gas fields that are fought over today. Now in the 2000’s US geologists have discovered a new highly lucrative mineral.
It is estimated that there is $1 trillion worth of lithium and copper deposits in Afghanistan making it the new metal mining hot spot of today’s world.
The Webandrank team thinks that this has such huge implications for future technologies.
Lithium has been traditionally used for coolants and heat transfer applications but now is also used as an anode material because of its electrochemical potential. Lithium has uses in other areas such as the pharmaceutical industry, fine-chemical industry and nuclear fusion.
img00208 20100614 2153.thumbnail Good Morning AfganistanThe far reaching application of lithium in today’s modern world would require several volumes of books to cover; in this article we want to focus on lithium-ion battery (LIB) technology.
You may not know that the lithium-ion battery is the ‘rechargeable battery’ and is commonly used in all our favourite portable consumer electronics (laptops and mobile phones).  LIB’s are also growing in popularity for military, electric vehicle and aerospace applications due to their energy density.
Lithium is something that is difficult to extract, according to the Handbook of Lithium and Natural Calcium:
Lithium is a comparatively rare element, although it is found in many rocks and some brines, but always in very low concentrations. There are a fairly     large number of both lithium mineral and brine deposits but only comparatively a few of them are of actual or potential commercial value. Many are     very small, others are too low in grade.
The largest lithium deposits previous to the newly discovered deposits in Afghanistan exist in Bolivia but have yet to be extracted. With the discovery of these deposits in Afghanistan we can hope to see a huge increase in mobile, laptop and electric car technology. These new deposits of lithium should hopefully drive down the price of LIB technology and we will all be able drive Honda hybrids while using our blackberry’s.
The paradox about this mineral find is it changes the shape of the war. If the US like many believe is fighting to secure oil supplies they have now found a supply of alternative minerals that might steer them away from this mad crusade to find oil. Afghanistan is set to become the most important mining centre in the world, being dubbed by the Pentagon as the ‘Saudi Arabia of Lithium’.
Let’s hope that this discovery does bring an end to the violence in Afghanistan, that we do all get to have cheap iPhones and drive environmentally friendly cars.