China discovers 1-million-ton lithium mine, largest in Asia

A lithium mine with nearly one million tons of reserves was newly discovered in Yajiang, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday, a development which will help raw material supply for China's sprawling electric vehicle sector. 

The newly discovered lithium mine was the largest pegmatite lithium deposits in Asia, which was an important breakthrough in China's lithium exploration efforts and will largely assist the nation's carbon neutrality, according to China's Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). 

As a vital mineral which drives development of the new energy sector, lithium is widely used in China's "New Three" export items, new-energy vehicle, lithium battery and solar panels, which together generated 1.06 trillion yuan ($148.89 billion) of exports in 2023, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed. 

The distribution of world's lithium resources is uneven, with the metal largely concentrated in South America, Australia, the US and China. 

China's lithium reserves are believed to be scattered in various areas while exploration is still in its early stage. The national conference on natural resources held from Monday to Tuesday stressed efforts to enhance domestic lithium mine exploration, along with overseas cooperation so as to secure the material supply for China's growing new-energy sector, according to Xinhua. 

Ministry of Natural Resources has vowed to promote lithium mine transfer to increase raw material supply, in a bid to ramp up China's lithium battery manufacturing and market consumption, according to the report. 

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