With a density of only 0.534g/cm³, lithium is the lightest – that is to say, the least dense – metal on the Periodic Table. However, the mining and extracting lithium can be an arduous process involving a large amount of machinery and energy expenditure. So how can your mining company ensure that the vehicles you choose for your operations will not only go the distance, but will have better long-term positive environmental ramifications and decrease your carbon footprint?
STG Global manufactures a range of trucks that are long-lasting, durable, easy to maintain and require fewer spare parts. So let’s take a brief look at lithium mining and how adding some of STG Global’s truck range to your fleet can help you to tread more lightly on the environment.
The Beautiful Lady
According to former Bolivian president Evo Morales, lithium is “like a beautiful lady, very much sought and pursued…” He was, of course, referring to the vast deposits of lithium that are found in Bolivia, much of it contained in the country’s vast salt deposits.
But as the world moves forward on its ever-increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries, the mining of this essential element in Australia has become more and more prevalent.
From Light Years to Leafs
We are surrounded by lithium. A 30 kWH Nissan Leaf EV, for example, has around four kilograms of lithium in its battery packs. Chances are, the smartphone or laptop that you are reading this on contains a lithium-ion battery. Your kids’ Buzz Lightyear toy will have a lithium battery somewhere inside it to ensure that it can go to infinity and beyond.
Most portable communications systems, such as the walkie-talkie radios you use on site, rely on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to keep them ready for use at all times. And the Artemis rocket systems that are about to reignite the exploration of the moon are loaded with lithium.
In short, lithium is becoming ubiquitous in our lives. And as the world moves towards more sustainable and carbon neutral energy sources, this lightest of metals will become even more vital.
Australia will play a leading role in world lithium production
Australia currently produces around 40,000 tonnes of lithium annually, most of it sourced from mines in Western Australia. However, mining company Core Lithium is in the process of establishing a lithium mining operation in the Northern Territory and remains “cautiously optimistic” that a significant amount of the element will be produced there.
American market analysts Fitch Solutions see Australia playing an increasing role in world lithium production. According to Fitch Solutions, Australia possesses “the world’s best commercially viable reserves of [lithium-bearing] spodumene* at present.”
*Lithium aluminium inosilicate LiAl(Si03)2 is one of the main source minerals for lithium.
Treading lightly on fragile landscapes.
There’s no doubt that the world needs to mine so-called “critical minerals” such as cobalt and graphite, along with elements such as lithium, in order to move forward both technologically and environmentally. Lithium is one of the most important components in the drive to replace the internal combustion engine with electric motors.
But mining operations need to walk an increasingly fine line between exploiting natural resources, such as lithium, while treading as lightly as possible upon the natural landscapes where these elements are found. And one of the key factors in ensuring that your mining activities remain as sustainable as possible is utilising machinery that is both reliable and durable.
Fleet Reliability Increases Profitability.
With supply chain disruptions and staff shortages caused by the still on-going effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that your mining fleet is reliable and easily maintained has never been more important. STG Global is leading the way in the production of rugged support trucks that are designed to withstand the harsh environments of mining operations in Australia and beyond.
Our range of machines includes several options that are perfect for mine work. These include:
- Water Trucks: Keeping the dust down is an important part of maintaining a safe and comfortable work environment. Check out our range of water trucks here.
- Service Trucks: Our range of service trucks will enable your maintenance staff to reach your equipment rapidly, and effect repairs quickly, minimising downtime.
- Tilt Tray Trucks: When you need to move smaller pieces of equipment from site to site, or within a site, a tilt tray truck is an effective and energy efficient solution for doing this.
- Truck Modules: For onsite lubrication, refuelling and tyre repairs, our truck-mounted service modules are the way to go. Being able to service and repair mining gear onsite, as opposed to removing it to a service facility, minimises downtime and saves resources.
In addition to our extensive range of truck options, STG Global adds a number of engineering and supply solutions that make our products stand out from the crowd.
Our water truck tanks come in a range of sizes, from a handy 8,000-litre capacity all the way up to our hefty 18,000-litre model. All of our metal water tanks (we also offer poly tank options) are constructed from heavy duty galvanised steel, guaranteed to last even in the harshest mine environment.
Short lead-in times
The mining industry moves fast. So if you need a truck in a hurry, our Australian-based manufacturing network can supply exactly what you need, when you need it. This is true both for new plant and for the supply of spare parts. We are able to get hold of spare parts extremely quickly because we don’t rely on overseas distributors to source our spares. We have them right here in Australia, ready for when you need them.
A fast local distribution network
With dedicated distribution and service centres across Australia, when you need to get hold of STG Global, you’ll get what you need, fast! Our goal is to minimise downtime and keep your mining operation moving.
Future-proof Your Mining Fleet.
By having rugged, durable and long-lasting machines in your mining fleet, you are going to be able to work more sustainability and minimise wastage. With equipment from STG Global, your fleet will last longer, operate more smoothly, and require fewer spare parts.