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China and Thailand discover new lithium deposits

In China, a lithium deposit has been found in Yajiang in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan. It allegedly holds nearly one million tonnes of the world’s most lightweight metal. According to local media, the find will benefit the country greatly, as it is widely used in China’s “New Three” export items: new-energy vehicles, lithium batteries and solar panels. According to the report, these three sectors generated nearly 149 billion dollars in exports last year.

According to China, the lithium mine in Yajiang is the “largest pegmatite lithium deposit” in Asia to date. However, it is not clear from the report whether the find concerns one million tonnes of lithium minerals or one million tonnes of lithium-bearing rock.

Lithium deposits have also been found at two locations in the province of Phang-Nga in southern Thailand. According to initial reports, the newly discovered deposits have 14.8 million tonnes containing lithium.

According to a government spokesperson, the ore contained only 0.45% lithium – enough to produce one million batteries with a capacity of 50 kWh. However, researchers still need to determine whether the quality of the ore is good enough for production.

It is the first time lithium deposits were discovered in Thailand. The largest known lithium deposits are in Bolivia (21 million tonnes) and Argentina (20 million tonnes).

ecns.cn (China), nikkei.com (Thailand)

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