Iran has announced the discovery of its first lithium ore deposit amid extensive exploration activity in the country’s metals and mining sector.
A senior official in the Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade (MIMT) said on Monday that the deposit located in the western province of Hamedan contains some 8.5 million metric tons of lithium ore.
Ebrahimali Molabeigi, who leads MIMT’s exploration department, said more lithium ore deposits are expected to be discovered in Hamedan, a province highly rich in clay deposits which is a source of lithium.
Molabeigi expressed hope that Iran could reach a cost-effective method of production from the newly-discovered lithium deposit as he insisted that demand for the metal is rising in the global markets.
Iran has introduced measures to expand its mining and metals sector in recent years as part of plans to diversify its economy away from oil revenues.
Increased activity in the sector has generated billions of dollar worth of hard currency revenues for the country while creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs for its youth.