Iran discovers world’s second largest lithium reserve
Iran’s lithium deposits are estimated at 8.5 million metric tons, which would make it the world’s second largest lithium reserve after Chile
The Islamic Republic of Iran discovered one of the world’s largest lithium reserves, according to a report published by Press TV on 27 February.
According to a senior official of the Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade (MIMT), the lithium deposits could contain some 8.5 million metric tons (MT) ready for extraction, which would make it one of the largest global discoveries.
Currently, Chile is the second biggest producer of lithium in 2022, with around 39,000 MT. The country’s reserves are the largest in the world, with 9.3 million MT. Until now, the second largest reserves were said to be in Australia, with 3.8 MT.
Ebrahim Ali Molabeigi, the head of the MIMT’s exploration department, said that more lithium ore reserves could be discovered in Hamedan, a region with large clay deposits.
In addition, Molabeigi hopes that Iran will find a cost-effective way to extract the material due to its growing demand in global markets.
“In today’s world, this strategic and valuable metal is of great importance in advances technologies,” Molabeigi said.
“This mineral is usually discovered in a clay area which makes the discovered reserve unique throughout the country,” he added.
The lithium price index increased by 182.6 percent year-on-year as of mid-December 2022, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
Meanwhile, S&P Global warned of a global lithium shortage as soon as 2024 due to growing demand. The supplier intelligence firm argues that the current 53 lithium mining projects, costing around $37.8 billion per year, would still be unable to meet global demand even if aggressively developed by a deficit of 605,000 tonnes by 2030.
Following the US-led economic embargo to cripple Iran’s economy, the government introduced measures to diversify its economy away from oil.
Iran’s mining industry has seen an increase in activity, generating billions of dollars and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs for Iran’s population, according to Press TV.