The lithium triangle is a very important region consisting of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, accounting for approximately 56 percent of the global lithium supply.
Lithium triangle; It is the name of a region consisting of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, which accounts for approximately 56 percent of the global lithium supply.
Lithium represents a route out of our dependence on fossil fuel production. As the lightest known metal on the planet, it is now widely used in electrical devices, from mobile phones and laptops to cars and airplanes.
Lithium-ion batteries are included in the energy systems of electric vehicles, which will account for 60 percent of new car sales by 2030. For example, the battery of a Tesla Model S uses approximately 12 kg of lithium. These batteries are the key to lightweight, rechargeable power. Currently, demand for lithium is growing at an unprecedented rate. many say this is crucial to the transition to renewable sources.
However, mining the element lithium can be harmful to the environment. Approximately 2.2 million liters of water are needed to produce one ton of lithium. Lithium can be defined as the non-renewable mineral that makes renewable energy possible. It is often touted as the next oil. Since lithium and cobalt reserves cannot meet future demand, the suggested elements to focus on instead are iron and silicon. Unless the future lithium bottleneck is resolved, the introduction of electric cars will stall within a decade.
Beijing’s acquisition of several lithium mining operations in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia allows China to dominate regional lithium operations. Between 2018 and 2020, China invested approximately $16 billion in mining projects in the lithium triangle and will likely continue to invest in the region.
Beijing’s economic dominance within the lithium triangle affects the supply of lithium for military hardware, potentially threatening the foundations of the US defense industry. Between 2016 and 2019, exports from Argentina and Chile accounted for 90% of U.S. lithium supply. the US defense industry relies on a stable supply of lithium; For example, most US military weapons, navigation and communications systems use lithium-ion batteries.
China’s dominance of lithium markets could allow China to manipulate lithium production at the expense of the United States and further strengthen Beijing in this critical market. The United States may prevent Chinese companies from purchasing lithium mining operations in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The USA has future economic and commercial expectations in the lithium triangle. China currently controls approximately 76% of global lithium-ion battery production, and future investments are only likely to further solidify its dominance in global lithium markets and increase tensions between the countries.