Lithium is a chemical element with the symbol Li. It is not found in nature in its pure form but most commonly in igneous rock as well as lithium rich brine in salt lakes. It was first discovered in 1817 by Swedish chemist Johan August Arfwedson when he analysed petalite ore, but it took a number of scientists to work out how to extract this soft, grey-white, alkaline metal. Australia is the world’s leading producer of lithium, followed by Chile and Argentina.
Technological innovation has blessed us with many wonderful, modern gadgets, but have you ever considered what metals and minerals are used to power them?
Take the example of your mobile phone – most people are inseparable from their beloved iPhones these days (guilty as charged) – and these amazing gadgets are virtual gold mines. Well, not quite.
Many important metals and minerals are now used in your mobile phone’s electronics to enable high-speed performance and data, improved video and gaming and a more vivid and detailed screen.