Eramet, founded with funding from the Rothschild family in 1880, began mining lithium in Europe

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Dear readers, there is no conspiracy, if you suddenly thought about it after reading the title. It’s just a fact of the history and mining industry of Europe. The French mining and metallurgical company Eramet was indeed founded in 1880, with funding from the Rothschild family. And this is not surprising, because investments in this industry have always been reliable and bringing stable profits. Now Eramet is a large mining and metallurgical group that extracts manganese, nickel, has steel plants where steel, aluminum and titanium are produced. And, of course, the developing energy transition in the world makes such companies look for new horizons for their activities and profit. And they were probably found.

Lithium is the «metal blood» of the new energy industry and the automotive industry. At the moment, there is practically no alternative to lithium in the creation of battery cells, which are used to create batteries for electric vehicles, and energy storage. Of course, science does not stand still, and companies, in cooperation with universities, are developing innovative energy elements. For example, you don’t have to go far.

The main proven reserves of lithium are now located in Chile, Bolivia, USA, Argentina, Congo, China, Brazil, Serbia and Australia. And a significant part of them are controlled by Chinese companies, especially the deposits located in the Great Triangle in South America. And this, of course, cannot but worry other countries that would like to have an independent source of lithium. And he was found.

French #Alsace is not only coal, potassium and salt, it also turns out to be lithium. This is how, almost unexpectedly, France, and with a high degree of probability also Germany, will receive their sovereign lithium in the coming years, and will be able to get rid of their dependence on lithium supplies from abroad. This is a fundamentally important task for the European Union. They are successfully developing renewable energy, decarbonizing their transport and energy, and at the same time moving away from dependence on the supply of fuel and energy resources from outside the European Union. But the growing EV and renewable generation industries need lithium batteries. Therefore, it was necessary to find an independent source of raw materials within the European Union. The European Union added lithium to its list of essential raw materials last year, as it is needed for the transition to electric vehicles and energy storage. And the source of lithium was found, for some, in an unexpected place and in a way. This was facilitated by the joint research of Eramet and Électricité de Strasbourg.

Electricity of Strasbourg

The technology meets all modern environmental requirements in force in Europe, since the pumped-out brine is subsequently re-injected into the subsoil, and the process of extracting lithium should under no circumstances affect or disrupt the natural environment of the subsoil. The end product of the process, # lithium carbonate, must be extremely pure to be used in lithium-ion batteries.

Last week, Eramet announced that they have successfully recovered the first lithium from geothermal salt water in a pilot project in eastern France, from brine at the Rittershoffen geothermal power plant operated by Electricite de Strasbourg. The station is located in northeastern France, near Germany. So the lithium pool probably extends to Germany as well. The direct lithium recovery process is adapted to handle hot brines under pressure conditions used to generate heat and electricity in the Rhine Rift Valley.

Outside Europe, Canadian Standard Lithium Ltd. is testing the recovery of lithium from brine, which is a by-product of bromine production facilities run by German Lanxess in the US state of Arkansas.

As they say, he is looking for — he will find. And if there is a need for an independent source of lithium, it was a matter of time before the desired result would be obtained. And he is. Lithium in France and Germany is found and mined. The next step will be to identify its volumes, and to create processes for the industrial extraction of lithium without damaging the ecology of the region.


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