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28/05/2024
Mining News

Kazakhstan emerges as key lithium supplier amid growing global demand

Kazakhstan is positioning itself as a significant global supplier of high-quality lithium, essential for the burgeoning power-storage technology industry, as demand for the mineral continues to surge.

Recent discoveries in eastern Kazakhstan have bolstered this position, although concrete investment commitments are still limited. Researchers from the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources revealed substantial lithium reserves in the Bakennoye deposit, signaling a potential value of up to $15.7 billion. Plans for further drilling investigations are underway, indicating growing interest in Kazakhstan’s lithium potential.

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European Commission official Maros Sefcovic highlighted Kazakhstan’s resource wealth, including lithium, emphasizing its importance for Europe’s transition to green and digital technology. With Europe currently meeting only 1 percent of global lithium production, demand projections indicate a significant future need.

To support exploration efforts, the European Commission and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development allocated funding for lithium exploration in Kazakhstan’s salt marshes. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has also underscored Kazakhstan’s lithium reserves, estimated at around 75,600 tons, signaling the country’s commitment to transparency in resource disclosure.

Foreign interest in Kazakhstan’s lithium sector is growing, with German and Chinese companies exploring investment opportunities. HMS Bergbau proposed a $500 million project for a lithium extraction and processing plant, while a consortium of German companies is considering collaboration with Kazakh authorities for lithium exploration initiatives.

Despite varying degrees of interest from international players, Kazakhstan’s strides in lithium exploration underscore its emerging role as a key supplier in the global lithium market.

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