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Posts tagged ‘boron’

Visual Capitalist: Boron makes modern life possible

October 17th, 2017

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | October 17, 2017

Boron: Making modern life possible

When it comes to modern living, there are so many things we take for granted.

We sleep in warm and comfortable houses, while keeping our food fresh and refrigerated. We have screens in our pockets and throughout our homes that help us connect with our friends and family—and we can drive across town in minutes to see them, if need be.

Oddly enough, many of these subtle aspects of modern living would not be possible without the existence of very specific minerals and the developments in technology that allow them to be used to their full potential.

Enter boron

Boron is an unlikely hero in this regard.

This infographic comes from 20 Mule Team Borax and it covers the properties, applications, market and future trends surrounding boron. And even though you probably didn’t know much about this metalloid element before today, you’ll soon see that boron’s versatile applications make it an integral part of modern life in many ways.

In fact, boron has an incredible range of properties and uses that make it interesting to us humans:

  • It’s an essential micronutrient for plants

  • It improves the performance of cleaning products

  • It captures neutrons, making nuclear reactors safer

  • It absorbs infrared light, useful for energy efficiency

  • Boron limits growth of bacteria and fungi on wood products

  • It helps balance acidity and alkalinity

  • Boron makes glass resistant to heat or chemicals

  • Boron prevents corrosion in many settings

  • It can be used to make advanced materials

  • It can be used in materials and coatings to suppress flames

  • Boron can be added to steel or aluminum, or used in super-magnets

  • It can link alcohols and carbohydrates together in oil recovery

As a result of this vast array of applications, boron is used in everything from smartphone screens to fertilizer.

Small amounts of boron sit in the walls and ceiling of your home, your kitchen, your bathroom and your driveway—and it’s even in a lot of food since it is an essential micronutrient for plants.

Future megatrends

There are three megatrends that are driving future boron consumption: urbanization, energy and agriculture.

Urbanization

By 2025, China will have 221 cities with over one million people. Boron is heavily used in cities and buildings in applications such as glazed ceramics, LCD televisions and electronics, appliances, and textile fiberglass.

Agriculture

Because boron helps regulate the reproductive cycle of plants, it is needed to help maximize food production for a growing population. In India, the use of boron and other micronutrients is being supported by government projects and subsidies to ensure that farmers increase productivity.

Energy

Boron is also used in energy-saving applications such as insulation, which will be key as green building practices are encouraged throughout the world. Borates are also used to create the high-powered magnets in applications like wind turbines, making them even more important for a green future.

(Interested in more infographics that explain our world? Visual Capitalist has launched a Kickstarter funding campaign for its first book.)

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Rodinia drills Argentina Lithium Production Well

February 8th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningRodinia Lithium Inc TSXV:RM announced initial production well drilling on its Salar de Diablillos Lithium Brine Project in Salta Province, Argentina. The well is to be drilled near a 120-metre hole that previously showed average intersections of 713 mg/L lithium, 9,000 mg/L potassium and 543 mg/L boron.

The production well is designed to evaluate the range of pumping rates, well efficiencies and drawdown/recharge characteristics of the middle and lower aquifers during a long-term, high-volume pump test. The 10-to-15-day pump test will provide engineering data for a feasibility study.

President/CEO William Randall tells ResourceClips.com, “We’re trying to complete the feasibility study this year. We want to demonstrate that we can produce at production levels for a 15,000- or 25,000-tonne-per-year plant and, on the processing side, show that we can actually achieve the high recoveries that we got at the lab, as well as harvest the potash and boric acid byproducts.

We have a great project with an NPV up to $1 billion but a market cap of less than $25 million, so there’s a big disconnect there—William Randall

“We also have the Clayton Valley Project in Nevada. It’s the only US project that has lithium brine, and we control 70% of it.

“Demand for lithium has definitely increased,” he points out. “Over the last four or five months the current big three producers of lithium have raised their prices by 20% because of demand. They can’t increase supply or not easily. Demand will continue to increase as electric vehicles are adopted and grid storage expands.

“We have offtake possibilities with Shanshan Enterprise. They have five plants in China that produce anodes and cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. They don’t assemble the batteries, but they’re the ones that actually use the lithium carbonate. There are also other parties in Korea and Japan that are interested in our products,” he adds.

“Our company is part of Forbes & Manhattan. With them, we have a team of 150 geologists, engineers, lawyers and accountants. What we do is take assets from this stage and into production. That’s clearly the direction we’re headed. That being said, if the right offer comes at the right time, we’ll certainly look at it.

“Lithium is a space that has a lot of upside, especially with lithium batteries becoming the norm for electric vehicles and grid storage,” Randall explains. “Within the emerging companies, our stock right now is massively undervalued. We have a great project with an NPV up to $1 billion but a market cap of less than $25 million, so there’s a big disconnect there. In addition to very robust PEA numbers, we also have intangibles. Our projects are in a very, very safe mining jurisdiction in Argentina and in Nevada. We don’t share our assets with any other lithium producers or explorers. Our base in Argentina doesn’t have native communities, so we don’t affect their water, grazing ground or other aspects of their communities. So those are advantages that will help this project move forward at a very rapid pace.”

Randall concludes, “Our PEA shows the lowest capex per tonne and operating costs of all the PEAs and feasibility studies in the lithium brine space. In fact, our operating costs could be cash-negative because of our byproducts. We could pay off all our costs and actually make a bit of a profit just with our potash and boric acid, allowing us to basically stockpile lithium carbonate if we need to.”

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by Greg Klein