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What is lithium and what is the new 'white gold' used for?

From your cell phone to your bicycle, through some medicine you have taken and, in the not too distant future, your car, lithium has become one of the most coveted minerals on the planet.

This is well known to the federal government, which, through its electrical reform initiative, has set out to regain control of the mineral’s exploitation and the huge potential profits. Here we tell you what lithium is and what it is for .

What is lithium?

According to the (RSC, for its acronym in English), it is a metal that is found mainly in natural brines, oil wells, seawater and geothermal fields.

It is the lightest metal known and has excellent properties for conducting heat and electricity.

Its appearance is that of a smooth, silvery metal and it reacts vigorously to contact with water.

According to the Chilean Ministry of Mining, lithium carbonate is the product with the highest international transaction volume, the country with the largest proven lithium reserves in the world.

What is lithium used for and what is its importance?

For a few years now, lithium has been implemented in the development of various products that have spread in the daily use of most people on the planet.

Its most common application, according to the RSC, is in the manufacture of batteries for cell phones, laptops, digital cameras and electric vehicles.

Yes, you are most likely holding some lithium in your hands right now.

Lithium, in alloy with aluminum and magnesium, strengthens the resistance of these last two elements, while making them lighter. Magnesium and lithium alloys are used, for example, in bulletproof vests and armor. While lithium and aluminum alloys have applications in aeronautics, the manufacture of bicycles and the assembly of high-speed trains.

As if that were not enough, lithium oxide is used to make glasses and certain ceramic products, while lithium chloride is present in air conditioners and industrial drying systems.

An additional and very important application for lithium is in the pharmaceutical industry. Given its electrical signal conduction properties, this mineral is present in some medications for the treatment of manic-depressive disorders and mania episodes.

Due to the above, lithium has become a highly coveted mineral due to the explosion in demand for several of the aforementioned products.

Australia is currently the largest producer of lithium and three companies, Ganfeng, SQM and Albermarle dominate the supply.

Why is lithium known as white gold?

The growing demand for lithium has detonated its price globally. So far this year alone, the value of lithium carbonate has increased 171%, while that of lithium hydroxide, 173%

Given the scarcity of deposits, lithium represents considerable profits for those lucky enough to have this mineral in their territory. Mexico is one of them.

Moody's advice: do not use the same model for lithium as in Pemex

A state government is not necessarily a bad idea, but the results will depend on the flexibility of the federal government and not making decisions that favor political issues, says the agency.

AMLO recognizes that he will need private initiative to start LitioMx

Just a few days after creating the state body, the president has recognized that the state would not have the financial or technical resources for his project.

AMLO "uncovers" Pablo Daniel Taddei as the new director of LitioMx

The announcement occurs a day after the president announced that the headquarters of the new state agency will be in Sonora.

Last Minute: AMLO chooses Sonora as the headquarters of the new state body LitioMx

The new headquarters seems like a natural choice, since the largest lithium reserve that has been identified in the country so far is located in the northern state.

LitioMx: how long will it take for the presidential project to take off?

Bolivia, the closest example to what the Mexican government is trying to do, accumulates around a decade trying to produce the mineral with very few results.