China has revealed the presence of nearly a million tons of lithium ores in Yajiang, located in the southwestern province of Sichuan. This significant find establishes the deposit as the largest source of pegmatite-type monomeric lithium ores in Asia, as reported by Xinhua, citing a statement from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Lithium stands as a vital resource essential for manufacturing batteries, solar panels, and electric vehicles. China, as the global leader in lithium processing, currently contributes to approximately 60% of the world’s lithium production.
The announcement comes amid a growing demand for metals and minerals crucial for the production of electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and other clean technologies. The International Energy Agency reported in mid-July of the previous year that the market for these essential materials had doubled over the past five years, with lithium demand experiencing a threefold increase.
Experts estimate that China has already surged ahead of Western nations in investments related to the extraction of rare earth elements. These elements play a pivotal role in innovative energy and transport, semiconductor production, military industry applications, and more. In early July, Goldman Sachs, the American investment bank, underscored the need for Western countries to invest a minimum of $25 billion in rare earth mining to catch up with China’s advancements in this domain.