March 16, 2023: Iran says it has discovered a lithium reserve of up to 8.5 million tonnes that could put the country on the global mining industry map to support battery manufacturers, state media reported on March 13.
The country’s industry, mining and trade ministry said the reserve in western Hamedan Province was the first to be confirmed in Iran and could be among the largest in the world.
If the estimated reserve proves to be accurate, it could mean that Iran holds the second-largest such reserve in the world after a 9.2 million tonne deposit in Chile.
Iran’s government said the country expects to be able to start extracting the lithium within the next two years, but would provide no further details.
It is also unclear whether Iran has the necessary technical expertise and equipment and whether it could establish international partnerships to recover and sell the lithium while the subject of international sanctions.
According to the US Geological Survey, identified lithium resources globally have increased to around 89 million tonnes as a result of continuing exploration.
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