The Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) managed to find a super rare item, rare earth metal, contained in the Lapindo mud in Sidoarjo, East Java. They expect that the material can be used as raw material for making electric car batteries.
Rare earth metal is a very rare metal and has been hunted since the 18th century. This metal has a lot of technological improvements, especially in the coating of the screen. Then, this metal can be used as a material for making electric vehicle batteries. Moreover, this rare earth metal has a very large magnetic strength so that it can be used as a material for making neo magnets.
Head of the Geological Agency, Eko Budi Lelono, said, “The rare earth metal found in the Lapindo mud is Cerium (Ce). From the results of the lab analysis, the metal content in rare earth is low, but the metal content is high for Cerium.”
In addition to finding Cerium, they also found other minerals, namely the critical minerals (CRM) Lithium and Strontium.
He explained, “From the results of the Geological Agency investigation, the potential contained in the Sidoarjo mud are minerals that are classified as Critical Minerals (CRM), namely Lithium (Li) with levels of 99.26-280.46 ppm and Strontium (Sr) with levels of 99.26-280.46 ppm. levels 255.44 – 650.49 ppm,”
However, the economic potential of this discovery cannot be known with certainty because it is still under in-depth investigation. Initial investigations are still being carried out because the research results are still limited to shallow mud depths.
Nevertheless, the initial results of the investigation can be used as a basis for consideration to determine future research areas.
Eko added, “The existing data on the potential for lithium and strontium is only in the area where the drilling is being carried out, namely the area where samples are analyzed by a laboratory. This drilling is still limited to a depth of 5 meters. Lapindo mudflow
The Research and Development Center for Mineral and Coal Technology (Puslitbang tekMira-KESDM) will continue to conduct investigations around the Lapindo mud with the aim of finding detailed data on these minerals.
Advanced benefits of Lapindo Mud
It is known that the Lapindo mud has continuous negative effects, such as eating up an area of several square hectares. By doing this research, it is hoped that there will be positive effects that arise and can be utilized from the overflow of the mud. Researchers are still trying to study the Lapindo mud, whether the mud can be used as an economic mineral potential. Moreover, the management of the mud can minimize the risk of its existence (hazard to rescue).
The Geological Agency explained that Lapindo mud can not only be used for minerals and metals, but can also be used as a mining commodity for raw materials for pottery, ceramics, bricks, and roof tiles.