Some researchers managed to find rare metals. It was found at the Lapindo mudflow site, Sidoarjo, East Java. The government through the Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) ensures that the “treasure” is in the form of critical minerals, namely Lithium and Strontium.
The Coordinator of the Mineral Resources Center for the Coal and Geothermal Mineral Resources of the Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Moehammad Awaluddin, said that the content in the Lapindo Mud was actually not only rare earth elements.
“What’s in the Lapindo Mud is Lithium which is indeed one of the minerals needed in the future, especially for electric batteries,” said Awaluddin, quoted Wednesday (12/5/2022).
Exploration activities to prove the presence of lithium had previously taken place in 2020. However, Awaluddin said the exploration was only half done. Therefore, his party will focus on working on the lithium mineral.
“The depth is also not optimal, in the future we will indeed continue this, targeted in the next year in 2023 for more extensive exploration,” said Awaluddin.
It will also cooperate in working on this lithium. The collaboration is intended to carry out extractions by other institutions, including from the United States (US), namely the Energy Resources Government Initiative.
Meanwhile, with the data held by the Geological Agency regarding the presence of lithium in the Lapindo Mud, it does not deny that many business entities are looking to work on the project in the Lapindo Mud. However, the government has not yet opened the auction for the project in Lapindo Mud.
“For metallic minerals, it is indeed carried out through an auction scheme, some business entities are also starting to see this as an opportunity. This means that the government will encourage future development,” said Awaluddin.
According to the records of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the need for lithium for the development of electric vehicles by 2030 will reach 758,693 tons. This amount is for the battery needs of 2 million units of electric cars and 13 million units of electric motorcycles.
Meanwhile, according to the records of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Kemenko Marinves), lithium metal has the potential to be found in the Tikus, Bangka Belitung, Hatapang, Thirty Mountains, Aceh, and Sumatra areas, with a note that a more detailed survey is needed.