Lithium from Afghanistan eyed for future electric car batteries
Source for this article: Lithium in Afghanistan for electric cars - a blessing and a curse
Lithium - temptation for corrupt Afghans
The discovery of rich Afghan lithium deposits was announced by American officials Monday. The New York Times reports that nearly $1 trillion worth of lithium and other minerals permeate Afghanistan, including cobat, iron, copper and gold. could either hurt or help U.S. objectives for the war in Afghanistan. The Afghan people could be liberated from generations of war by the vast mineral wealth. Another possibility: the Taliban could intensify the Afghanistan war now that the presence of lithium and other valuable minerals has raised the stakes. Either way, lithium will be a new and irresistible temptation for Afghan corruption.
Game-changer for the Afghanistan war
Afghanistan lithium, along with other precious metals, could make the country a new frontier for international mining. But Afghanistan's economy, currently depending on opium cultivation, has none of the heavy industry required to capitalize on its mineral wealth. China may be in the lead to exploit Afghanistan lithium, despite the vast quantities of money and human lives America has expended for Afghanistan. Blogger Aziz Poonawalla points out that China will compete aggressively with the U.S. for strategic control of Afghanistan's minerals. Analysts speculate that Obama will postpone plans to withdraw troops from the Afghanistan war, when a corrupt Hamid Karzai will cozy up to China and demand that U.S. forces clear out sooner.
Boliva’s lithium pipe dream
Afghanistan lithium is huge because a bleak country full of sheep, dust and landmines could supply the critical element that makes hundreds of millions of smartphones and laptops possible. Lithium’s incredibly light weight and strong energy potential are considered by automakers to be the solution that makes a future of electric cars possible. A recent article within the New Yorker reports that Boliva has nearly half the world’s known lithium lying undisturbed under vast salt flats. Nevertheless, it’s doubtful that Boliva will ever get rich from its trove of lithium, experts believe. Boliva is a socialist country at odds with the U.S., with a primitive infrastructure much like Afghanistan. Before Bolivia can hope to exploit lithium as a twenty-first-century fuel, it must first develop the rudiments of a twentieth-century economy.
Or become the prize for opponents within the next 21st century war.
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