Essay by Eric Worrall
How far will the Biden administration be prepared to go, to secure access to Iranian Lithium?
Huge lithium discovery could end world shortages … Oh, wait, it’s in Iran
Batteries are one thing, no one tell Tehran about Li-6, OK?
Sat 4 Mar 2023 // 12:03 UTC
Lithium, sometimes hyped as white gold, has been highly sought after for its role in battery production, and other things.
Global demand is expected to continue to outstrip supply in the years to come. Albemarle Corporation projects [PDF] lithium demand will rise from 1.8 million metric tons in 2025 to 3.7 million metric tons in 2030 largely due to its role in electric vehicles and other battery dependent devices.
According to The Financial Tribune, an English language news publication focused on Iran that’s operated by Tehran-based Donya-e-Eqtesad, Ebrahim Ali Molla-Beigi, director general of the Exploration Affairs Office of the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade, said that Iran has discovered its first lithium reserve in Hamedan Province, in the western part of the country.
The reserve is said to be 8.5 million metric tons, which – if accurate – would be among the largest known deposits yet discovered.
…Read more: https://www.theregister.com/2023/03/04/lithium_iran_china_shortage/
In my opinion the Biden administration has already demonstrated his moral flexibility when it comes to pursuing their geopolitical goals, when John Kerry shook the hand of Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro at COP27. Maduro has a $15 million DEA bounty on his head, for information leading to his arrest. But Maduro also controls the oil wealth of Venezuela, and the Biden administration at the time was trying to cut a deal to get access to that oil. Biden granted US oil companies permission to start pumping Venezuelan oil in February.
China and Iran have a cosy relationship. If Iran allows China to develop its Lithium deposit, Chinese battery manufacturers will increase their advantage over US manufacturers, which will increase the likelihood Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Act” green programme will fail to deliver on Biden’s promise of more green jobs.
If the Biden admin is willing to shake the hand of and do deals with an accused narco-terrorist, someone whose alleged drug smuggling activities contribute to 10s of thousands of US deaths every year, I doubt Biden will have a problem with doing a Lithium deal with Iran to save his green jobs program, with people who hold regular “Death to America” rallies, people who have made solid progress towards producing weapons grade Uranium for peaceful purposes.
It looks like China, at present the largest manufacturer of EVs and hybrids in the world, likely will get first dibs at the huge lithium deposits.
China already buys large quantities of oil and gas from Iran
China Iran import export totaled about $16 billion in 2022
China Russia import export totaled about $190 billion in 2022
China buys way more computer chips from mostly Taiwan – just over $400 bill worth pa
Which would be all, the more reason, to invade, and take full control of the entire production. The west should worry.
The reason for the chips is most go in exports……. where do you think they go
chinese dont have the resources to run TSMC. this is one reason why they hire so many guys from TSMC to work at SMIC.
next if china takes over TSMC, then we just stop AMSL from upgrading or repairing EUV machines.
No matter how much Lithium is discovered, there will be shortage by the time the new mines start producing in large quantities, which takes about 5 to 10 years, based on past experience
“Half of the lithium used in the world comes not from mining, but from extraction through geothermal brines”
I did not know that
Apparently, it requires 2,000,000 litres of fresh water to process, just 1 tonne of Li.
Not ‘fresh’ water , they are brines which they evaporate in the sun just like for salt. The water cant be used for irrigation or drinking
“takes about 5 to 10 years, based on past experience”
e.g. Vaccine mandate
In Jan 2022 the IEA said the world faced potential shortages of lithium and cobalt as early as 2025. In May 2022 it said lithium prices had risen over 700% since Jan 2021.
nope Elon is changing all that
China produces 75% of all EV lithium-ion batteries and over half of all lithium processing takes place in the country. A consortium led by Chinese battery manufacturer CATL has just won a bidding process to develop Bolivia’s huge lithium reserves – investing upwards of $1.billion.
I imagine they will be very interested in Iran’s deposits.
You’ve got more lithium but we can spell “tons”.
Tonne is a metric measure equal to 1000 kilograms.
I stand corrected. I thought it was just another loose spelling being foisted off by people who say “aluminium”.
I’m not surprised by North Americans not having looked at the periodic table where most elements end in ‘ium’.
After all, they ‘sodder’ things instead of ‘soldering’. It cracks me up whenever I see a youtube video.
I’ve read that the American spelling of Aluminium arose from a simple transcription error.
But then there’s the pronunciation of the planet Uranus…. 🙂
As someone with a foot in both camps, I always deliberately, rebelliously, spelt colour as color in my UK schooling. I was slightly disappointed to only once have it corrected by a teacher.
Something similar happened in China. Most of the students had a translation dictionary. Instead of saying ‘usually’, they were saying ‘urally’. Although they can make the correct phonetic sound, they were saying this nonsense. I stopped them by telling them it sounded like someone had a urinary tract problem.
The translation/phonetic sound was in all translators over many years. A copy of the software was used in all makes of machine.
Funny place, China.
Funny words like burglarize in stead of burgle and sticking -ee on the end of a word inappropriately A do-er does and a do-ee is done to . A standee should be stood upon. if you have your house bugled you therefore have become a burglarizee. or if it was a particularly nasty burglary then the perp would be called a burglarizator and you would have become a burglarizatoree. Biden and the dreadfful Kamala are wafflizators and you poor citizens are wafflizatorees
I’ve never seen the word “sodder” in reference to making two metal parts solid; but I imagine it has its uses as a pioneering term for someone who breaks up sod. The former is still “solder” in Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Pronunciation. Not the spelling. The letter ‘L’ is dropped for some unknown reason.
I learned something today. Do I win something?
Free lithium for life…
Here’s your chit, present it to Xi Jinping and you shall have your reward
Remember, Touch Nothing but the Lump
Its also 36 lbs more than the imperial ton (2240lbs)
Its 204 lbs more than a US ton (2000lb)
We can buy Iran’s lithium so they can make nuclear weapons. Seems like a fair deal.
They already are on the path to nuclear weapons…because Israel has them. What did Israel export ?
The notion that you can’t overcome fundamentalist Islam with woke kumbayah whilst providing an enviable standard of living for its citizens in the desert.
How did that rule about staying in national boundaries and international rules order end up.
Also the rule about nuclear non proliferation seemed to only apply more recently
Do commenters here assume the Israeli Air Force is routinely flying practice missions for Episode X taking out Iran’s nuke facilities? Would the Saudis assist the IAF ? And how about the Azerbijanis ? Are they in love with Iran?
Do the Saudis want their oil production facilities along the Gulf coast to be wrecked by ballistic missile attacks . Not to mention the insurers withdrawing coverage for the ships
What could go wrong?
1950s technology… shocking that there’s not an atomic chicken in every pot.
“If the Biden admin is willing to shake the hand of and do deals with an accused narco-terrorist, someone whose alleged drug smuggling activities contribute to 10s of thousands of US deaths every year’
What utter utter nonsense. A cursory handshake at COP27 doesnt amount to doing ‘deals’.
Apparently indicting a President didnt extend to Trump.
If you really are worried about the deaths from drug overdoses , look at the suppliers of legal Fentanyl
You missed the bit where a few weeks ago Biden approved US companies to start pumping Venezuelan oil and enriching an alleged drug kingpin. This might have had nothing to do with the handshake meeting- but the timing fits. They did a deal at COP27 or after.
Chrevon has been producing oil for decades in Venezuela, since the 1920s
US embargoes etc dont have the effects you like to think, sure their production has fallen but then so has Mexico, both are badly run highly corrupt countries.
Green as in environmental blight? Green as in toxic sludge?
I suspect that the Iranian government has a long memory concerning the US (CIA) dirty dealings with their country going clear back to 1954. Both China and Russia are developing joint economic projects with Iran, and Iran will soon be a member of the BRICKS+. The US might try to weasel in, but with the global south realizing the West and the US in particular, are “agreement incapable” I don’t see it happening in this current universe.
And of course neither Russia nor China has ever had dirty dealings with other countries.
So how long has the search for Lithium deposits been serious? I suspect, with no mineral expertise, that we’ll find more around the world.
half of lithium used comes from geothermal brines, so is not mined in the normal sense. Far more economical to extract so is likely to increase as thats where most reserves are too.
Any place where you find playa salt pans around the world. Thew Iranian ones will be in these salt pans. Tuz Golu in Turkey, the Chotts in N Africa. How about Salt Lake city Salton sea etc. Maybe in Australia Lake Eyre, . Of course in the states and Oz actually using your own deposits of Li for the Green revolution constitutes doubleplussungoodgreenecocrime which it is why it will never happen. It beats me however what is the difference between a n arid salt flat and a mining-trashed salt flat.
Australia is the world’s largest producer of lithium responsible for around half of that production yearly.
“Iran has announced the discovery of its first lithium ore deposit in the western province of Hamedan – and it contains around 8.5 million tonnes of lithium ore in clay.
“Of ore” is the key here. It is not 8.5Mt lithium, which is what half of Twitter is saying.
As way of comparison, Arizona Lithium’s Big Sandy clay project contains 32.5 million tonnes of ore grading 1,850 ppm lithium.”
So not saltpans
That’s even more than the 5.9 million tons just discovered in India.
I suggest there is a hierarchy in the goals of deceit and betrayal. Lithium didn’t matter in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan doesn’t have *lithium*.
It was a desktop study of potential mineral deposits , probably politically generated.
Have they actually done core drills to define their ‘potential’ as happens in the real world, of course that cant happen now but there was 20 years of occupationfor it to be tried
I have zero respect for Kerry, a true bottom feeder.
Surely Trump is the pits
I have a great deal of respect for Trump on many things, not all things. When he entered the Republican primary he was near the bottom of the list for me. Not the bottom but near it. When he won the primary I knew he was who I was voting for. The thought of Hillary was truly frightening. He did far better than I expected, we were better off with him than we are with his replacement.
the current Obama/brandon administration is out to destroy the what the USA is supposed to stand for via destroying our economy.
Thank God we had Trump (mean tweet and all) instead of Hillary in between!
Then why the still very high employment
Some people have to work two jobs to survive. Both jobs count.
Obama, in a post president interview, said that he was more than happy to see electricity prices “skyrocket”
Your hatred of success is bottomless.
If that was a criteria then you wouldn’t back the trust fund baby and draft dodger Trump,
Musk someone who is both unconvential and a creator of wealth, more in a week than Trumps lifetime of rding a rising NY real estate market using his father’s money
And once again, your hatred of success causes you to see things that were never there.
Pathetic really, but it’s what we have come to expect from you.
All Musk has done is show that it’s possible to get wealthy by milking government subsidies.
More Weapons of Mass Destruction in the middle east. (Referring to the negatives of going ‘green’.)
Are these deposits proven?
Are they worth what it would cost?
Without the baseless push for EVs as the solution to non-problem?
Let Iran sit on it.
If they follow the socialist mantra, they should be giving it away! “(From each…”
and all that.)
You’re right about the lithium ore but Iran is no more socialist than US . Persians have been enterprenurial for about 2 millennia
Remember it was a government funded expedition that found the continent for Europeans….a bit like the internet and the future US computer chip production
one nutty rationalization/stretch after another.
As far as I know, Eric the Red/Basque cod fishermen and even Isabella were not government. Of course, all except Isabella had the sense to keep quiet about it.
Columbus made his transatlantic voyages under the sponsorship of Ferdinand II and Isabella I, the Catholic Monarchs of Aragon, Castile, and Leon in Spain.
Monarchs were the government!
Basques were just anecdotal, mostly by themselves , same as the Brazilians claim the first powered controlled flight.
Products that have several sources and are used worldwide are priced based on global factors, not just local. If the supply increases, the price would go down. If China bought Iranian Lithium instead of from other sources, the excess now at the other sources would become available. This is not an Iran issue but a world wide availability issue.
It can take up to 16 years to bring a mine up to full production though I suspect the environmental and other factors may be less rigorous in Iran.A Chinese consortium has very recently won a bidding process to develop Bolivia’s lithium resources.
embargo as a price support for a fungible resource
Biden will take on Iran for Israel. But the narrative will be that “It’s a war for oil and lithium”.
Did Iraq establish military parity with Iran a few decades ago? Situations change over time, but if Iran has been buying cold war surplus, then…
“Global demand is expected to continue to outstrip supply”
Eh? My word definition alarm ringing. Are they not equalised by a third variable, price? Googling…
For now the lithium price bubble has burst, in part due to these new reserve announcements.
Aha, unchanged demand plus rumor of supply increase equals dropping expected price. I knew the three factors were related.
Why do I have a feeling the Biden administration is like the one in Don’t Look Up?
Because for sure they’d try to salvage an asteroid for minerals. Even if it meant risking the home planet.
I guess this table from BP World Energy Statistics will need some modification.
I hope they use this new lithium deposit to cure climate alarmist schizophrenia
In the Biden world lithium is likely not just a critical input but a very strong lubricant for corruption. And in the Biden world there already seems to be far too much lube in use.