Lithium Deposits Found
- Presence of 1,600 tonnes of lithium resources in the igneous rocks of the Marlagalla-Allapatna region of Karnataka’s Mandya district.
- Preliminary survey was done by the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD)
- AMD is the oldest unit of the Department of Atomic Energy.
Properties of Lithium
- It is a chemical element with the symbol Li.
- It is a soft, silvery-white metal.
- Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element.
- It is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in mineral oil.
- It is an alkali metal and a rare metal.
- It has the highest “Specific Heat capacity” of any solid element.
- Lithium single valance electron allows it to be a good conductor of electricity.
Usage of Lithium
- Lithium metal is used to make useful alloys.
- For example, with lead to make ‘white metal’ bearings for motor engines, with aluminium to make aircraft parts, and with magnesium to make armour plates.
- In Thermonuclear reactions.
- To make electrochemical cells.
- Lithium is an important component in Electric Vehicles, Laptops etc.
Lithium Extraction Method
- Solar evaporation of large brine pools.
- A brine pool is a volume of brine collected in a seafloor depression.
- For example: Brines of Sambhar and Pachpadra in Rajasthan.
- Hard-rock extraction of the ore (a metal-bearing mineral).
- For example: rock mining at Mandya.