Lithium and Prospects of Lithium Mining in Turkmenistan

Nurmyrat Mommayev
Lithium and Prospects of Lithium Mining in Turkmenistan
By 2025, the global demand for lithium is expected to reach 550 thousand tons.

Lithium is one of the elements that is widely used in many industries, especially in the ceramics, glass, aluminum, oil, pharmaceutical and battery sectors. Its high energy density, low mass and other environmental and performance properties enable lithium to be used in a wide range of applications in the battery industry, from compact electronic devices to power supplies for vehicles.

According to the studies, it is estimated that there are 86 million tons of lithium reserves worldwide. Despite this, mining companies can process only 82 thousand tons of this per year. By 2025, the global demand for lithium is expected to reach 550 thousand tons.

Worldwide sales of electric cars have approached 5.6 million units by 2021. By 2030, electric car sales are expected to reach 40 million. This level of production requires approximately 3 million tons of 99.9 percent pure lithium. How this figure will be reached by 2030 is just one of many questions to be answered. Therefore, countries and companies aim to meet the increasing lithium need by commissioning new mining sites and new production centers.

Lithium is a very important element for the future of electric cars and their production today. For example, 60 grams of lithium are used in cordless drills, 40 grams in laptop computers, 30 grams in tablets and 1-3 grams in mobile phone batteries. While the lithium rate in batteries in hybrid cars is around 2 kilos, each Tesla Model S electric car needs about 63 kilos of lithium for its battery pack. The amount of lithium used in the 90 kWh battery of Tesla Model S reaches 80 kilos.

In this regard, Tesla is the world's number one consumer of lithium-ion batteries. It is estimated that Tesla uses more than 40,000 tons of lithium hydroxide annually, which is almost half of the world's total consumption. Tesla has established a battery manufacturing factory called Tesla Gigafactory for its own cars. This is the world's largest lithium battery factory. Looking at this, Tesla can actually be defined as a battery company rather than an automobile company.

According to the articles of Ogulgerek Rejepova and Doctor of Technical Sciences Allaberdi Ilyasov published in Turkmen media, the launch of lithium production in Turkmenistan and its further export to international markets will give a powerful impetus to turning the country into a major player in this direction. Turkmenistan has all the natural, technological and human resources to establish the production of lithium , as well as to supply this strategically important element to the world market with

This is important because lithium is one of the most needed substances in the future and is also called white oil because of its rich variety of uses. Lithium production in Turkmenistan will make significant contributions to the country's economy.

Nurmyrat Mommayev,

PhD Candidate at Marmara University's Department of Political Science and International Relations in Istanbul, Turkey