Iran announces discovery of first lithium reserve

Iran announces discovery of first lithium reserve
A worker checks cores at a Rio Tinto lithium project. / Rio Tinto
By bne IntelIiNews February 28, 2023

Iran has announced the discovery of its first lithium mineral reserve, Mehr News Agency reported on February 27.

The reserve is said to boast 8.6mn tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).

Lithium has diverse uses across multiple industries and is increasingly important in the energy transition. Its primary use is in the production of lithium-ion batteries for consumer electronics, electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage systems. Lithium is also used in the pharmaceutical industry to treat bipolar disorder, depression and other mental health conditions. Additionally, lithium is used in ceramics and glass manufacturing and lubricants, and as a component in alloys utilised in aerospace and defence applications.

Iranian industry ministry official Ebrahim Ali Molabeigi was reported as saying: "The discovery of this first lithium reserve, in western Hamedan province, is promising news. It signals the possibility of there being other lithium reserves in the province."

Molabeigi added: "In today's world, this strategic and valuable metal is of great importance in advanced technologies.

"The mineral is usually discovered in clay areas, so the discovered reserve is unique in this country."

Iran is among the world’s top 15 countries for mineral riches. It ranks first in the Middle East.

In all, Iran is estimated to hold 7% of the world’s mineral reserves. There are 37bn tonnes of proven mineral reserves in Iran and more than 57bn tonnes of potential reserves, made up of 68 mineral types.

Iran has major reserves of zinc, copper, salt, coal, iron ore, uranium, lead, gold, bauxite (for aluminium), molybdenum, antimony, sulphur, sand and gravel, among other resources that are mined.