Lazy eyes listen
Thailand has discovered over 15 million tonnes of lithium deposits in the southern province of Phang Nga, a government official stated on Friday. The mineral is vital for the renewable energy industry.
The discovery means that the country now has the world’s third-largest lithium deposits, trailing Bolivia and Argentina. However, it is uncertain how many of these can be used commercially.
According to Rudklao Intawong Suwankiri, the deposits are spread across two places. “We’re attempting to figure out how much we can take from the materials we identified. It takes time,” Rudklao told The Nation TV programme, according to AFP.
It’s good news. It’s an opportunity for Thailand to become self-reliant in the production of EV batteries,” Rudklao stated.
Demand for lithium has been soaring across the world as the mineral is vital for manufacturing smartphones, car batteries, and other rechargeable electronics. Moreover, the UN deems lithium a “pillar for the fossil-fuel free economy” because of its potential for energy storage in the clean power grids of the future.
Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s cabinet, which took power in August, has set a goal of making the country a regional hub for electric vehicle manufacture. Thailand has a history of developing conventional vehicles.
In December, two Chinese EV companies reportedly pledged 2.3 billion baht ($64 million) to promote Thailand as a production hub.