Korean scientists discovered lithium deposit in Kazakhstan

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The Korean Institute of Geology, Geophysics, and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) discovered a lithium deposit in Kazakhstan in 2023 and plans to continue its development.

The deposit was found in an area of 1.6 square kilometers in eastern Kazakhstan. Representatives of the institute shared this information at an international forum on key minerals in Seoul, The Korea Times reports.

KIGAM has been studying this region since May 2023 at the request of the Kazakh government. The exploration was conducted in an area where tantalum was previously mined, and lithium and cesium are usually associated with tantalum deposits.

Lithium is one of the most important minerals for the electric vehicle industry as it is a primary component of batteries, as noted by the authors of the report.

According to geologists, the lithium reserves in the Kazakh deposit are estimated at $15.7 billion. "According to the research of a Canadian agency, the lithium content discovered in this region reaches 5.3%," noted KIGAM. For comparison, lithium is extracted in Western Australia from mines with a content of 2.1%.

KIGAM plans to apply for drilling rights in the surveyed area and aims to commence lithium mining in 2025 in collaboration with a Korean company. The specific company involved has not been disclosed.

The article also mentions that the Korean institute is conducting exploration for another critical mineral - nickel - in western Mongolia.

"We will work on creating a new supply chain, including Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, and Africa, using our technologies," quoted the plans of KIGAM President Lee Pyung-Koo.


March 6, 2024