Rare Earth Mining Sucking Up Everything in its Path.



Lithium is one of the world’s most demanded metals and its popularity is growing. Lithium may sound very unfamiliar but chances are you have one or two pieces in house right .
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The metal is used in rechargeable batteries that are used in computers, cell phones, and other common electronics. In fact 10 pounds of lithium is used in hybrid cars. Now, with its demand rising miners are forced to work quicker leaving pollution behind. But is it worth giving up long lasting batteries because of it?



The logic behind Lithium.
Well first let’s talk about how the metal itself and how it is mined. Lithium the worlds lightest metal, but also is the trickiest. Within the entire process from earth to box lithium cannot make contact with oxygen or water. When exposed to air it started to corrupt and is not as efficient as its new state. When exposed to water it heats up enough to almost instantly boil 1/8 of a cup of water. The mining processes are very simple but as dangerous at the same time. First, they pick a spot in a salt flat (lithium is commonly found there) and dig just below the crust. Then they pump brine (a clear liquid that almost looks like olive oil that contains salts and proteins) out and store it in 4 inch deep pools to set for the day so all the water can evaporate. The next day it is filtered and the salts are extracted and then it is mixed with some chemicals to form lithium.
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The dencity of nickle.
Lithium is the key ingredient in technology of the future.
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The dencity of lithium.
. Lithium-ion batteries are long lasting and efficient. They can last 10x longer than nickel batteries too. There is 10 pounds lithium in hybrid cars making it a key inherent. But remember lithium is the lightest metal in the world so there is A LOT of it in the car. Most cell phones and computers contain lithium. So, in the future lithium could be a key ingredient for long lasting battery power. Because of its low atomic mass (the weight of each atom) it can store more energy and last longer. But that’s not the only use for lithium; the extra salts can be used as anti-depressant and a mood stabilizing drug. It is used for people with depression and other mood disorders. It reacts with the brain calls and decreases abnormal activity. There are still scientists working to see if there are any other uses for the salts as a medication.




Is it worth continuing to mine lithium?
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Here is a picture of poluted water because of lithium mining.

Unfortunately, there is a cost for all of the mining done. As the salt gathers rush threw the salt plains is replaces the brine with equal to or greater pollution. So now we have to make a choice technology or earth. In my opinion we should continue to mine it for three reasons. 1) It isn't affecting us. It’s being mined in the middle of know where. Is it too salty for most plant and animal life to live there. 2) Is would stun technology’s growth. Most batteries would last half the amount of usable time. In order to retain the battery life cell phones would be as large as a piece of paper. 3) Without it there would be more mentally unstable people and very few ways to cure it. If you got depression they you might be stuck with it for the rest of your life.







Lithium use chart.
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Global_Lithium_Uses.svg.png

Ceramics and glass (29%)
Batteries (27%)
Lubricating greases (12%)
Continuous casting (5%)
Air treatment (4%)
Polymers (3%)
Primary aluminum production (2%)
Pharmaceuticals (2%)
Other (16%)
Works Cited
"Brine." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 May 2013. Web. 17 May 2013.
"In Search of Lithium: The Battle for the 3rd Element." Mail Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2013.
"Lithium Mining." Prezi.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2013.
"Lithium." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 May 2013. Web. 17 May 2013.
"What Is Lithium?" WiseGEEK. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2013.