Debunking the open pit meme

In the last few days, social media are awash with an amended version of the Caterpillar meme I debunked a few days ago.

The text is the usual mix of made-up pseudodata about emissions caused by Lithium mining, but to illustrate it, the trolls are using another picture, which the accompanying text calls “a Lithium mine in China”:

As anyone with a computer can check for themselves, submitting this image to Google Image Search reveals that this is NOT a Lithium mine, NOR it is in China.

This is instead an aerial picture of the Mir diamond mine in Siberia; the article is part of a well-concerted campaign to discredit electric cars, perhaps funded by those who stand to lose the most from the world abandoning fossil fuels.

The reality is that – as we already discussed – the majority of Lithium is extracted from natural brines, with a process not dissimilar to the extraction of salt from seawater. Notable exceptions are the Spodumene mines in Australia, where Lithium is extracted from hard rock in open pit mines like the one in Pilgangora (West Australia).

CO2 emissions linked to battery production has been extensively studied by a host of researchers from all over the world, resulting in a consensus that LCA (LifeCycle Assessment) of an electric car (including production, use and end-of-life) is between 50% and 75% less than that of an ICE car, a gap which will continue to widen as the world’s grids are progressing towards decarbonization.

If you run into such false information, please remember it is your duty to report the person posting it!

False information

freedom of speech !

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