Alberta’s oilpatch may help fill global lithium shortage – by Danielle Smith (Edmonton Journal – July 12, 2019)

Earlier this year, Tesla executives warned that the world may soon be facing a critical shortage of minerals and metals needed to build batteries, in particular nickel, copper and lithium.

Cobalt is also going to be a growing problem not only because of scarcity, but because it seems the only place it can be mined in great abundance is through the help of child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If the great transition to renewables is to take place, the world needs to find and develop more and better sources of these key battery components. When it comes to lithium, Alberta oilfields may hold the answer.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with a daily Access show that talked about all the interesting new inventions that were going to transform the world. I remember one episode where they reported that we would soon see producers growing watermelons in square containers, because square watermelons would be easier to transport, spoil less, and be easier to slice in the kitchen.

I have long since given up trying to carve an oblong watermelon. But, sadly, the square version never materialized. It has always reminded me that great inventions don’t always see the light of day.

That said, I maintain great enthusiasm for potentially transformative inventions. And the science, as well as the economics, appear to be on the side of an Alberta-based company called E3 Metals.

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