Lithium, it's the lifeblood of the green movement. Expensive and limited in any form if we want to move towards electric vehicles, solar energy and so forth it's going be practically a required resource.
Few countries in the world have large Lithium resources left. One of the main countries with large quantities is Bolivia, a nation that hates us and is unwilling to mine it. As the rest of the worlds Lithium sources dwindle and the price of the precious ore skyrockets, making affordable green technology unfeasable, Bolivia has more than half of the known world wide deposits of Lithium ore remaining on earth.
That was until today.
Vast amounts of Minerals have been located in Afghanistan. Including a source of Lithium that dwarfs that of Bolivia.
According to the Pentagon Afghanistan could be the "Saudi Arabia" of Lithium.
WASHINGTON — The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.
The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium," a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.
It's not only Lithium that has bee nfound but Gold and other precious metals. The ragged terrain of the Afghani hills has seemed to hide these marvelous precious metals for years and now it possibly is the source of a end to this hideous war.
While the economy in Afghanistan has been founded in the Opium trade, these mines could bring a new source of income to poor farmers and move them away from the Taliban, who they support often because of the Opium trade.
It also opens up a cheap source of Lithium for green technology in the United States. And it also makes it very difficult for us to leave the nation or withdraw troops. Believe it or not, now it's not only international interests that keep us there, but the interest in a cleaner future and better technology.
How important is this exactly?
Well lets consider this article from the times on Bolivia's Lithium resources.
For now, the government talks of closely controlling the lithium itself and keeping foreigners at bay. Adding to the pressure, indigenous groups here in the remote salt desert where the mineral lies are pushing for a share in the eventual bounty.
"We know that Bolivia can become the Saudi Arabia of lithium," said Francisco Quisbert, 64, the leader of Frutcas, a group of salt gatherers and quinoa farmers on the edge of Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world. "We are poor, but we are not stupid peasants," he said. "The lithium may be Bolivia's, but it is also our property."
The exact same phrasing, is it just a coincidence?
The U.S. Geological Survey says 5.4 million tons of lithium could eventually be extracted in Bolivia, compared with 3 million in Chile, 1.1 million in China and just 410,000 in the United States. Independent geologists estimate that Bolivia might have even more lithium at Uyuni and its other salt deserts, though high altitudes could make producing the mineral difficult.
Clearly this finding in Afghanistan is not a minor one and will change the face and price of our clear energy.
Price charts indicate Bolivian Lithum could add a total of 10,000 dollars to the price of a car compared to US Lithium. That is if the Bolivian Lithium center, which have no international investment so far, ever make it off the ground.
Leaving Afghanistan just got a lot, lot, harder.