Systematic lithium exploration to open gateways to wealth: WealthPK

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has a diversified geological environment hosting lithium deposits and their systematic exploration can not only open gateways to income generation but also bring about an industrial revolution, says Muhammad Yaqoob Shah, principal geologist at the Global Mining Company Limited, Islamabad, while talking to WealthPK.
“It is important for Pakistan to take bold initiatives by following in the footsteps of certain European countries that have successfully explored their lithium resources and are among the leading nations in terms of exploration, processing, value addition, trading, etc,” he said.
“An orderly and well-defined exploration program according to the type of lithium deposits will help save time and money. Pakistan can generate a huge revenue from its exploration and bring great socio-economic changes in the mining sector through the export of value-added products,” he added.
In order to augment the aforesaid statement, it is worthy of mentioning that during the last decade, a multitude of industrial benefits has made lithium a strategic mineral in many concerns, i.e., energy storage, production of lithium batteries for electro-mobility, and as a source of green energy.
The necessary steps to make lithium exploration successful in Pakistan is to start from the areas where its existence has already been reported. Exploration of lithium-bearing potential rock units can also be targeted in addition to an integrated geochemical exploration program to locate the highly anomalous lithium-bearing areas as a second and third option respectively, added Yaqoob.
The international lithium market is expected to grow from US$65.9 billion in 2021 to US$273.8 billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.3%, while the global market of lithium Ion batteries in the same period is projected to grow at US$22.6 billion at a CAGR of 15.7%.
Lithium is widely used in the manufacture of glassware, spectacles, electronic devices, air purifiers, fuel for rocket propellants, coolants for nuclear processes, strategic and aerospace devices, optics, gas streams, ceramics, and glass industry, organic synthesis, chargeable and non-rechargeable power storage batteries, silicon nano-welding technology, iron casting, lubricating grease, alloys, metallurgy, pharmaceuticals, treatment of bipolar disorder, etc.
Lithium deposits in Pakistan are found in Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, and a few other places. Pakistan must focus on lithium mining and its processing by using the local resources and expertise.
Technical coordination from the countries already expert in lithium mining, processing, and value addition can work wonders.   –INP