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IRAN has announced the discovery of the second large deposit of lithium.

7 Mar 2023

A lithium mining machine moves a salt by-product at the mine in the Atacama Desert in Salar de Atacama, Chile on October 25, 2022.

Lucas Aguayo Araos| Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

 Iran has announced the discovery of a large lithium deposit in Hamedan province, which could be the second-largest known lithium reserve in the world after Chile. 

The deposit is estimated to hold 8.5 million tons of the valuable metal, which is a key component in the cathodes of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs) and rechargeable batteries for electronic devices. 

The discovery could be a lifeline for Iran's battered economy, which has been weighed down by heavy international sanctions and a spiraling currency. However, Iran's ability to export the resource will likely be limited due to those sanctions. 

Additionally, the discovery could further push down the price of lithium, which has already seen a significant drop due to a decrease in EV sales and slow business activity in China, the fastest-growing EV market. 

In an aerial view, salt evaporation ponds are seen on Bristol Dry Lake where Standard Lithium Ltd. is preparing to use Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology to capture lithium from brine that is being drawn for evaporation to produce industrial (David McNew/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Analysts at Goldman Sachs expect lithium prices to continue to drop in the medium term due to an expected surge in supply, led by Australia and China. 

Despite the potential economic benefits, Iran continues to face penalties from Western nations for its supply of weapons to Russia in the ongoing war in Ukraine and its violent crackdown on women's rights and anti-government protesters.

Huge pools of brine containing lithium carbonate and mounds of salt by-products stretch across a lithium mine in the Atacama Desert in Salar de Atacama, Chili on October 25, 2022. T (Lucas Aguayo Araos/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images / Getty Images)


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