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Bolivia is hope to a brewing resource conflict over its lithium deposits.  (Source: NYT)

The Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia are home to over half the world's lithium deposits. With the prospects of millions of lithium-powered electric vehicles on the horizon, Bolivia's nationalistic government is considering taking ownership of the resources, while foreign competitors scramble over each other to try to obtain resource contracts.  (Source: Detroit News)
The scrappy race to secure lithium deposits may even outdo the race to secure new oil deposits

In the nation of Bolivia, the locals are sitting on a stockpile of white gold.  No, they haven't found a hidden gold deposit, but they have claim over something far more valuable -- lithium.

As battery efforts explode worldwide and the industry braces for electric vehicles, the demand for lithium, the current material primarily used in batteries, is at an all time high.  The situation is exacerbated by the fact that lithium is a scarce resource, with deposits only in a few locations worldwide.

Oji Baba, an executive in Mitsubishi's Base Metals Unit, describes, "There are salt lakes in Chile and Argentina, and a promising lithium deposit in Tibet, but the prize is clearly in Bolivia."

Bolivia is becoming a hotbed for a brewing economic resource war.  While some expect the Arctic oil resources to become the most hotly contested resource, the race for lithium could get just as nasty or worse.  On one side is the increasingly nationalistic government; on another side is a plethora of industrialized nations, and on a third front is Bolivia's indigenous people, who expect to receive a cut of the profits.

With over half the world's known lithium sitting beneath the deserts of Bolivia, many nations are desperately trying to make a deal with the government.  The Bolivian government is headed by President Evo Morales, who has criticized the U.S. heavily and promoted nationalization of industries.  He has already nationalized the oil and natural gas industries, and as he and other Bolivians realize the true value of their deposits. Many fear he will nationalize the lithium supply as well.

Some of the indigenous people are also demanding a cut.  States Francisco Quisbert, the leader of Frutcas, a group of salt gatherers and quinoa farmers on the edge of Salar de Uyuni, "We know that Bolivia can become the Saudi Arabia of lithium."

Japan and France, undeterred by Bolivia's increasing hostility towards the U.S. and other nations, have sent business representatives to the nation to try to negotiate resource deals.  Their representatives have traveled to La Paz, the capital of the nation, in hopes of brokering such an arrangement.

Mitsubishi is among the ones strongly pushing for exclusive deals.  However, many other companies in France, Japan, and even the U.S. also have shown interest -- among them are GM, Nissan, Ford and BMW, all of whom have electric vehicle projects.

For decades, lithium saw small demand for use in mood-stabilizing drugs and thermonuclear weapons.  That demand began to creep up as cell phone makers adopt it as their battery material of choice, thanks to its high energy density per volume and weight, compared to other technologies like nickel metal hydride.  And now those same lures -- the low weight per energy density -- have lured in its biggest customer yet, the auto industry.

The amount of lithium needed to make the massive battery packs in millions of planned electric vehicles will be unprecedented.  And the resource's scarcity is not only increased by its limited geographic distribution, but its difficulty to be harvested.  To extract lithium, miners must pump brine -- water saturated with salt -- deep into the desert's ground.  The water then is evaporated, leaving behind salt deposits, which contain lithium.

The U.S. Geological Survey pegs Bolivia's deposits at 5.4 million extractable tons.  The U.S. has 410,000 tons, while China has 1.1 million and Chile has 3 million.

 Juan Carlos Zuleta, an economist in La Paz urges his government to cut a profitable deal with the foreigners.  He states, "We have the most magnificent lithium reserves on the planet, but if we don't step into the race now, we will lose this chance. The market will find other solutions."

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By rudy on 2/6/2009 12:20:58 PM , Rating: 4
Coming soon lol

Organization of Lithium Exporting Countries. There is no deal in life but I guess to me if the power is held by Bolivia its better then the mid east. At least it should be mostly politcal fighting rather then war.

By rudy on 2/6/2009 12:22:24 PM , Rating: 5
I should say more clearly its funny how things work you want energy independance and you jump on the bandwagon but in the end you are never idependant. It's just a new product from a new place. And the same old games will be played.

By sviola on 2/6/2009 1:08:04 PM , Rating: 5
Well, I can't agree with you on that. Living in Brazil and seeing what the Bolivian President (Evo Morales) did to nationalize the Natural Gas resources (the army went into production facilities and refining facilities and just took over and the companies received nothing back...Petrobras - Brazilian Oil Company had invested over $800 mil there - all went down the drain oh...and they raised the price of Gas as well), I can only be pessimistic about the lithium industry...And worse, he is very connected with that wacko-trying to stay in the government until death-socialist Chaves from Venezuela.

By arazok on 2/6/2009 2:34:27 PM , Rating: 5
Well the good news is now that the Oil bubble has popped, Chavez is going broke fast. I was reading something the other day about how he’s kissing up to all the foreign oil firms he nationalized, trying to get them to come back and invest. I bet you he’s also wishing he didn’t fire all those oil engineers that resisted him.

It’s really hard to build infrastructure when you alienate all the people you depend on to build it. What comes around, goes around.

By rudy on 2/6/2009 2:46:50 PM , Rating: 2
And lets hope they aren't running back to him. That is the risk that you take when dealing with an instable country. Honestly the same could be true of all the US investment in China we will build them a state of the art industralized nation and then they will do as in the past and kick everyone out stealing their investment. Perhaps they will be more subtle and just tax it to death. But that is the greatest fear I have with all this foriegn investment.

By Spuke on 2/6/2009 3:01:47 PM , Rating: 1
But that is the greatest fear I have with all this foriegn investment.
If China nationalizes, then we'll just tax the crap out of all of their imports effectively barring them from our market.

By Keeir on 2/6/2009 5:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
Given what China owns of our debt, that probably wouldn't be a move that we could make...

By Spuke on 2/6/2009 9:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
Given what China owns of our debt, that probably wouldn't be a move that we could make...
And how would they collect?

By BansheeX on 2/7/2009 11:09:23 PM , Rating: 5
Spuke, are you insane? Have you learned nothing about economics since I've been on here? China is our largest creditor. If they don't keep buying our short-term t-bills at 0% interest (it's actually negative, the CPI is BS), then the jig is up on our ponzi treasury market. The only buyer left is the Fed with their magic checkbook, which is pure inflation and will destroy the dollar. The correct solution, of course, is for rates to RISE, government spending to be drastically cut, allow debt to be liquidated, allow jobs and capital to reallocate over many years. It will be painful rebuilding a viable economy, but you should have thought about that when you were shooting up with inflation for 30 years thinking it was fun. Instead, we're doing the same damn things Hoover and Roosevelt did, only worse.

Also, Imagine what would happen if China cut their losses and convert their trillion in dollar reserves on gold. Guess what happens then? The dollar will plunge relative to the yuan, making every Chinese holder of Yuan able to afford the products that they currently make and export to us in exchange for our worthless paper. By leaving the gold standard, we enabled them to finance our government's excess with REAL credit. While we were out expanding our military empire, entrenching our unions, taxing the crap out of businesses, trying to pay off giant welfare schemes, they were working hard and lending us the money to do it at interest. Socialist monetary policy pissed away our entire manufacturing base to that country and you are dead wrong if you think they will be worse off without us. They would have the factories and the means to consume what comes out of them. What would we have?

(1) A worthless currency unable to outbid the world for imports without hocking every asset we own to foreigners.
(2) No factories to produce what we were importing on foreign credit that no longer is being extended
(3) No savings to invest in those factories, which even if we did have, would take decades to create
(4) An angry populace getting welfare checks that can't buy anything because prices have gone up 1000% from the world becoming net sellers of U.S. bonds
(5) A government that thinks non-viable jobs should be subsidized by viable ones, windmills are better than nuclear, money should be debt instead of gold, and interest rates should be price fixed, people should pay more taxes for being either gay, single, having less children, invested in exportables over homes.

If the Keynsian brainwash is that bad, if the world actually does loan us the 10 trillion we're asking for to keep financing non-exportable consumption, they will destroy themselves and officially take our place as the dumbest countries on Earth.

By Captain Orgazmo on 2/8/2009 6:38:11 PM , Rating: 4
Very well put Banshee. I'm guessing you were a Ron Paul supporter last election. I think he was the only candidate who had a clue about economics and domestic policy (unfortunately his antiquated head-in-the-sand ideas about foreign policy such as abandoning NATO and NAFTA, and the peoples' tendency to vote for populist image over substance killed his presidential hopes before he even started).

Unsurprisingly, it came down to a race between two big-government, big-spending, basically identical candidates. Both morons promised to send Ben Bernanke out with Santa's bag full of imaginary money to dump on Wall Street. Only now Congress is beginning to realize that maybe giving away money they don't have to long failing industry and fat cat bankers is not such a good idea. On the other hand Obama and the democrats are already planning the next election campaign, so there is no way they want to pull the plug on the economy and let the market take care of things, because the hordes of unemployed would lynch them next election.

So Flight 1776 will continue its downward spiral until either splash down in the Hudson, or crash and burn in Queens. Back in 2000 when Dubya got elected, it was an easy prediction to say, there will be war before his first term is up. Now the future is more cloudy, but not impossible to predict.

Banshee, you are correct about what would happen should the US default on its debts. But that is just the beginning. The people will want an out. The last time this sort of economic mess happened, it cost 60 million lives to get out of it. It took Germany only half a decade to build its war machine.

This time, we all have a head start. In the past decade, China has doubled its military budget three to four times. Russia has been left with a massive cold war arsenal that they have quietly been upgrading with newly acquired Petro-bucks, and has most recently been seen invading its smaller neighbors, and putting the natural gas squeeze to its bigger ones. Japan is seeing a resurgence in nationalism to go with its already powerful economy and military, Iran is aspiring to become one big suicide bomber, and India is getting ready to have a cow on Pakistan.

The history books will say WW3 was caused by stupid people spending way beyond their means on too big houses, extra properties, hot tubs, big TVs, and RVs, and that they were enabled by self-serving and equally stupid politicians who had way more power than they knew what to do with.

By hduser on 2/12/2009 4:56:08 PM , Rating: 3
Very eloquently put BansheeX, way better than my response to Spuke which is: don't answer the phone and pretend we're not home and if they try to collect or pretend that it was some other United States that owes them money.

By Spuke on 2/12/2009 6:33:04 PM , Rating: 3
don't answer the phone and pretend we're not home and if they try to collect or pretend that it was some other United States that owes them money.
Hey, it works for the Jehovah's Witnesses. BTW, my question was sincere. I really didn't know.

By Spuke on 2/6/2009 3:00:35 PM , Rating: 1
I was reading something the other day about how he’s kissing up to all the foreign oil firms he nationalized, trying to get them to come back and invest.
Are you serious? LOL! Now THAT'S awesome!!! I hope they don't go back though. Let him go broke.

By Spuke on 2/6/2009 3:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
By Spuke on 2/6/2009 3:16:33 PM , Rating: 3
By Amiga500 on 2/6/2009 5:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
Some difference between the two eh?

In one he (Chavez) is crawling back to the oil companies, in the other he is allowing them to enter the bidding process for new contracts... I guess it is no surprise (obviously quite a vested interest in capitalism) take a harder line, but hey.

Oh, and this stuck out (from NY times):

Venezuela also differs from top oil nations like Saudi Arabia and Mexico, where national oil companies have monopolies. Petróleos de Venezuela let private companies remain as minority partners after the nationalizations, despite Mr. Chávez’s often aggressive anticapitalist stance.

By Spuke on 2/6/2009 9:13:16 PM , Rating: 2
Two different outlooks on the same thing. I think it's hilarious nonetheless. He boots them out then asks them to come back. If he's such a hardcore socialist, he would figure out a way to get the job done without outside help. I'm sure someone in Venezuela knows how to run an oil business.

Another part is that he blew all of the money he made and now the country is in serious trouble. LOL! Like the Godfather said, "I don't know karate, but I know crazy."

By Spuke on 2/12/2009 6:39:05 PM , Rating: 3
I guess there's some socialists or some Chavez fans here. Sorry but he's just another a$$hole politician making big promises but is really only out for himself. F%&k him and his dumb sh!t supporters too.

By Starcub on 2/9/2009 4:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
Living in Brazil and seeing what the Bolivian President (Evo Morales) did to nationalize the Natural Gas resources (the army went into production facilities and refining facilities and just took over and the companies received nothing back...Petrobras - Brazilian Oil Company had invested over $800 mil there - all went down the drain oh...and they raised the price of Gas as well),

Is this what you're talking about?

Because it sure sounds to me like Morales kicked out a couple foreign oil companies that had made sweetheart deals with the previous administration to profit from Bolivian resources. Nationalization of oil resourses was one reason Morales got a post-election jump in aproval rating from 60 to 80%; he went on to keep the promises he made to his electorate (with an 80% approval rating, you know there was hogging going on at the top) in nationalizing other Bolivian industries as well.

As for Petrobras, Morales appearently worked out a deal with Brazil since some of their assets were not nationalized. Furthermore, there tends to be a prefference in South America towards interregional cooperation over dealing with the US, this should come as no surprize given what the US has done in the past.

Petrobras in particular seems to be doing quite well for itself, and is positioning to buy US oil assets. If I had to guess, I'd say the reason the US govt. put a freindly face on in this last election is simply because it can no longer afford to play mr. strongarm.

By Spuke on 2/12/2009 6:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
If I had to guess, I'd say the reason the US govt. put a freindly face on in this last election is simply because it can no longer afford to play mr. strongarm.
We put on a friendly face because we don't give a sh!t what happens in South America. Even Jon Stewart was making fun of Venezuela. Quite frankly, our worldwide meddling will dwindle over the course of the next few decades. We Americans are tired of the governments continuous crappy foreign policies. It will change. Keep an eye out for it.

By Catalyst on 2/13/2009 2:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
We put on a friendly face because we don't give a sh!t what happens in South America. Even Jon Stewart was making fun of Venezuela.

Ummm, the American people may not give a shazzbot, but our resource companies do. And Jon Stewart often has a hard time pulling himself out of the mainstream swill that passes for news these days, so he makes blunders all the time.

By Calin on 2/9/2009 6:09:42 AM , Rating: 2
Lithium is nowhere near crude oil in this respect.
What happens if all the crude oil exporting countries stop their production? The world economy will grind to a halt in 6 months or so (based on stockpiles, autonomous production and so on).
What will happen when the lithium production will stop everywhere 20 years in future? All the cars will go (with degraded performance due to old batteries), and there will be now no new cars/batteries. Bad, far from this critical.

Battery Explosions
By napalmjack on 2/6/2009 11:51:33 AM , Rating: 5
As battery efforts explode worldwide

There has got to be a better way to phrase that sentence...

RE: Battery Explosions
By MrBlastman on 2/6/2009 12:30:12 PM , Rating: 3
The Chinese would disagree with you. ;)

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/6/2009 12:51:59 PM , Rating: 1
That's our Jason for you.

RE: Battery Explosions
By matt0401 on 2/8/2009 2:44:53 AM , Rating: 1
If there was ever a time I wished the rating system went higher than 5 it was now.

You now have a 6.

Where is fuel cell technology?
By mxnerd on 2/7/2009 2:22:08 PM , Rating: 2
Where is the fuel cell technology everyone is talking about several years ago?

If we can use fuel cell on cars, we suppose don't have to use lithium battery that ust be replaced every few years.

Anyone have any idea what the progress of fuel cell technology is for cars?

By William Gaatjes on 2/7/2009 5:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
The issue is for as far i know the catalyst to perform the elektrochemical reaction and the electrolyte membrane seperating positive and negative charges... These require very expensive rare elements.

RE: Where is fuel cell technology?
By Penti on 2/9/2009 6:54:50 AM , Rating: 2
The problem isn't really with the fuel cell itself, however they are inefficient and producing the hydrogen is massively inefficient. You just can't replace oil with CHG. Fuel cells aren't a new technology however they need clean hydrogen and that means hydrogen produced by electricity - electrolysis. Not hydrogen produced from fossil fuels (directly).

And despite the fact that the fuel cell gets it's energy from catalytic conversion it still need a damn Lithium-ion battery. Since you can't get the energy on demand as on a battery.

By Fireshade on 2/9/2009 9:47:49 AM , Rating: 2
Fuel cells are not limited to hydrogen for fuel.
E.g. the Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) requires methanol.
And other types may be in development as well.

What about the Utah Salt Flats?
By DarkElfa on 2/6/2009 11:24:06 AM , Rating: 2
We have a huge salt flat, is it barren of lithium?

By kfonda on 2/6/2009 4:45:40 PM , Rating: 5
Don't be ridiculous. We can't use our own resources. It might destroy the majestic beauty of our salt flats.:-) Plus, where would they do the tests to find out which electric car could go faster than the speed of light:-)

The Answer Is Simple
By rasmith260 on 2/6/2009 2:43:36 PM , Rating: 2
We just need to plant some suspected Al-Qaeda operatives their so that we can invade on trumped up charges, take what we want and call it operation “Bolivia Freedom”.

RE: The Answer Is Simple
By kyleb2112 on 2/6/2009 9:32:45 PM , Rating: 3
Bush Derangement Syndrome is so last year. Time to find a new target for the Two-Minute Hate.

RE: The Answer Is Simple
By jabber on 2/12/2009 10:25:02 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe they could get Elton John to appropriatly re-record 'Philadelphia Freedom' as the theme tune?

world recourses only enough for 20mil cars?
By chalupa on 2/6/09, Rating: 0
By MrBlastman on 2/6/2009 12:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
I fear that lithium technology will only be a stepping stone to a new tech - one that we will have to conceive rather quickly if demand picks up.

However, our planet is rather vast (figuratively speaking) and I'd be suprised if there are not other undiscovered deposits lurking out there.

I had looked into lithium related stuff a year ago and was shocked when the total global tonnage of lithium available was only 10 - 11 million tonnes. However, as I dug further I've found the number could possibly be as high as 35 million tonnes.

By Kuroyama on 2/6/2009 12:46:48 PM , Rating: 4
The battery is not solid lithium. The equivalent lithium content of a typical laptop battery is only around 6 grams, while the battery itself obviously weighs far more.

Maybe we won't be using lithum for long
By William Gaatjes on 2/7/2009 7:56:54 AM , Rating: 2
By William Gaatjes on 2/7/2009 8:03:49 AM , Rating: 3
Combine surface area with good islators and good electrical conductors.

I wonder if biotech is not a better solution to build carbo devices.

Let's grow our batteries.

Untapped lithium reserves
By Trantorian on 2/6/2009 12:31:38 PM , Rating: 3
The demand for lithium is on it's way up. But as with oil exploration, or any other high demand natural resource, there are often alternate sources. No one can question the richness of the supply in Bolivia, but it would be premature to assume the resource fight puts Bolivia in the same position as the Arab oil cartels. I found this link somewhat enlightening.

Anybody else see a trend?
By Regs on 2/8/2009 5:49:58 PM , Rating: 3
It seems like the resources of yesterday that USA had a lot of are getting obsolete, with the resources of tomorrow that many of our competitors have.

Just another reason to fear for our economy.

By deputc26 on 2/8/2009 10:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
When a car burns gas the hydrocarbons become H2O and CO2. When a lithium batteries cycle life is over it still contains the lithium. In fact, it contains lithium that is far more easily extracted than the lithium deposits in Bolivia and Chile. Lithium is a permanent posession of the owner, it doesn't burn.


By omgwtf8888 on 2/9/2009 2:18:06 PM , Rating: 2
From all that I have read on this site and other reports, Lithium batteries are really only mediocre for use in autos. Their cost, weight, and life span will make pricing for all electrics far above that of gasoline/diesel. If Bolivia tries to cash out on its supply of lithium it will only serve to drive up the price of all electrics thus killing what market it could have. People complain about paying to have the battery replaced in their ipods, can you imagine the outrage when they need a $5-10K battery replacement in their car? You will have to take out a second loan on the battery. As I see it we are going to need some greater tech to power electric cars.. Go go Tesla coils!

Take it!
By RoberTx on 2/11/2009 1:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
I say we take it from them with RPEBs. Remotly Piloted Energizer Bunnies.

Yet again...
By Amiga500 on 2/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: Yet again...
By MrBlastman on 2/6/2009 1:32:11 PM , Rating: 2
So if your government came into your home and took all your possessions from you because "You didn't need them and the government needs them now," would be okay with you? This is essentially what the Bolivian Government has done with businesses which mirrors what Hugo Chavez did.

The more posts I read from you the more I realize how potentially extreme you are towards the left.

RE: Yet again...
By Spuke on 2/6/2009 1:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
The more posts I read from you the more I realize how potentially extreme you are towards the left.
I thought he was simply silly.

RE: Yet again...
By Amiga500 on 2/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: Yet again...
By Keeir on 2/6/2009 5:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
If nationalisation means they get these things - so be it.

I would agree, but in the past nationalisation has not resulted in significant improvement in quality of life for most people. Nationalisation has in many countries led to extremely corrupt business practices that are in turn supported by the government rather than the government attempting to at least appear to control them.

In the Long Run, from what I have seen in other countries, Nationalization run correctly leads to a slow and measured increase in quality of living. Private Industry has fits and starts in change in quality of living (and is often negative).

A business is not your home.

Both are your property...

whats next? You home is not your life? You car is not your job? You Meat (insert favorite luxury food here) is not your food?

RE: Yet again...
By Amiga500 on 2/7/09, Rating: -1
RE: Yet again...
By m4elstrom on 2/9/2009 1:39:05 PM , Rating: 3
WOW just WOW....
As a Venezuelan living in Venezuela all I hope is that you sir be more informed before you make a statement like that. Nationalisation left us with 30%+ inflation last year, and a goverment that is 90%+ corrupt, (yes even Chavez, he spends goverment money on political campaigns and his family is now wealthy beyond any dreams). We get to be second on the world inflation race YAY!

RE: Yet again...
By Catalyst on 2/13/2009 2:22:06 PM , Rating: 2
The more posts I read from you the more I realize how potentially extreme you are towards the left.

Ideologies are like accents, you think everyone else has one but don't hear your own.

The role of government is to provide for its people. All of its people. The Right wing commenters in this thread want government to favor business as a means of prosperity in the countries in question. With Neo-Liberal policies working in South America since the 80's with no benefit and decreased standards of living for the majority of people, I'd say that form of capitalism is a qualified failure.

If people in South America are electing governments that promise more nationalism, maybe that says they are tired of the status quo, and we are just shooting the messenger (Chavez). Nationalism can't be all bad, after all, we have quite a bit here in the U.S.

RE: Yet again...
By mvpx02 on 2/6/2009 1:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
Do you really think that Bolivia nationalizing its lithium industry will have the slightest tangible impact on the quality of life for most of its citizens?

Typically governments nationalize industry out of greed. Corrupt officials see corrupt CEO's making money and they want a part of it, and I guess sometimes taxation just isn't a direct enough route to the company's profits.

Bolivians will not benefit from government involvement, it would merely mean replacing the direct-deposit bank accounts of Bolivian business men with those of the government and its officials.

RE: Yet again...
By Amiga500 on 2/6/2009 4:51:55 PM , Rating: 1
Both yourself and nafhan make similar points - with admittedly considerable justification from history.

However, the stats from Venezuela would suggest that there are instances where nationalisation/socialism/whatever is helping the majority (although the haves do not like the have nots getting a hand). After all, isn't that what a democracy is supposed to be about - getting what is best for the majority with all having an equal voice?

I must stress - you need to listen to the poor ~80% of the population, not the rich ~20% who are opposed to the poor getting a chance to climb the class system. Those ~20% make much more noise - so be careful!

For instance, the overall education standards in the country have improved in the time of Hugo Chavez, as has access to medical treatment.

RE: Yet again...
By Keeir on 2/6/2009 6:08:31 PM , Rating: 3
I would like to point out that the time period you are examining for Hugo Chavez for the most part has been a time period of dramatic economic windfall due to large increase in price of the primary export of Venezuela, Oil. It will be interesting to see how the nationalized economy reacts now that money is essentially not being shoved into its hands by the world demand for oil and whether Venezuela can continue to increase standards of living with the bonus Oil Revenues

RE: Yet again...
By Amiga500 on 2/7/2009 9:53:47 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed it will.

Have they invested sufficiently in developing the fields?

Right now it doesn't look like it.

RE: Yet again...
By nafhan on 2/6/2009 2:04:44 PM , Rating: 2
Nationalized industries have historically not done so well, especially in South America. Because of inefficiency and corruption, they tend to "succeed" only in positions where a monopoly or cartel would otherwise be able to succeed due to lack of competition (i.e. OPEC).

Great, now we are fighting over sand!!!
By Expunge on 2/6/09, Rating: -1
By napalmjack on 2/6/2009 11:49:52 AM , Rating: 3
No worse than people fighting over bat guano deposits in centuries past...

By Bender 123 on 2/6/2009 12:10:09 PM , Rating: 5
Who needs to fight over Lithium...

Just check the medicine cabinet of any Emo band member and there is bound to be enough Lithium to satisfy everyone.

RE: Great, now we are fighting over sand!!!
By MrBlastman on 2/6/2009 12:20:39 PM , Rating: 5
Anyone else get an image in their head of that long-forgotten episode of Gi-Joe where they were fighting over the heavy water deposits at the bottom of the ocean while battling giant tube worms?

RE: Great, now we are fighting over sand!!!
By phazers on 2/6/2009 1:46:32 PM , Rating: 1
So who won? I hope it was the YouTube Worms :)

RE: Great, now we are fighting over sand!!!
By MrBlastman on 2/6/2009 1:57:46 PM , Rating: 2
As Hank Hill would say: "What in he(ck) are you talkin about Bobby?"

Those episodes of Gi-Joe came out in 1984... Ahh the memories, I remember watching them while in 4th and 5th grade.

Watch for yourself and relive (or live for the first time??) the 80's glory.

RE: Great, now we are fighting over sand!!!
By Dreifort on 2/6/2009 3:05:00 PM , Rating: 3
Don't forget your sandwiches!
Oh you kids look so cute in your multi-colored hats.

Are you Buzz Light year? :

Pork Chop Sandwiches!! :

Who wants a body massage? :

see them all here:

RE: Great, now we are fighting over sand!!!
By MrBlastman on 2/6/2009 3:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
You just made my day!

Thanks for the laughs. :)

By Dreifort on 2/6/2009 3:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
old school stuff for us geeks, but timeless nonetheless!

By DigitalFreak on 2/6/2009 1:53:48 PM , Rating: 2

I actually remember that episode!

By Smartless on 2/6/2009 6:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
Hey I remember that one with the crystals and that gun, and Scarlett fighting that other chick... and... oook. It's too late for me, Nerditis has taken over.

RE: Great, now we are fighting over sand!!!
By AntiM on 2/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: Great, now we are fighting over sand!!!
By barjebus on 2/6/2009 1:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
You ignore the inefficiency of creating that hydrogen fuel, which reduces the 60% number that you pulled out of the air.

By Keeir on 2/6/2009 5:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, he is quite close to the "right" number. The very best Hydrogen Fuel cells are between 50-60% efficient at turning Hydrogen into Electricity at thier ideal running condition

What he did that was wrong is compare ideal state real world fuel cell efficieny with whole car efficieny for IC engines.

Diesel Engines have demonstated ideal state real world efficieny of 45%+

The real benefit to using a Electrical based system (Fuel Cell) is that an electrical based system can be designed to more efficient use power produced at the engine into forward motion than the currently used mechanical based systems

RE: Great, now we are fighting over sand!!!
By barjebus on 2/6/2009 1:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
What I don't understand is how using brine to extract the lithium is complicated. Potash solution mining has been around for some time already.

RE: Great, now we are fighting over sand!!!
By afkrotch on 2/6/09, Rating: 0
By ekv on 2/6/2009 2:38:18 PM , Rating: 4
There's a grain of truth to what you say, so it's humorous and all. However, I'm just kind of curious about your level of Lithium intake?

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