Govt exploring possibilities of investing in lithium mines in Argentina, Australia

Men walk near the lithium reserves discovered in J&K's Reasi.
Men walk near the lithium reserves discovered in J&K's Reasi. File: Mir Imran for Greater Kashmir

New Delhi, Apr 7: With the requirement for lithium rising manifolds, the Central government is exploring the possibilities of investing in mines abroad, especially in Argentina and Australia.

According to top sources, the joint venture company of the union Mines ministry, Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL), which consists of National Aluminium Company Ltd. (NALCO), Hindustan Copper Ltd. (HCL) and Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Ltd, is exploring opportunities for investment in lithium mines in Argentina and Australia.

Owing to the fluid geopolitical situation arising out of the Russia-Ukraine war, which has impacted the global supply chains, India is keen to source critical minerals like lithium from within the country as well as abroad.

Highly placed sources informed IANS that government is open to acquiring critical minerals mines abroad to avoid shortages in case supplies are impacted.

In continuation of this effort, the mines ministry’s joint venture company KABIL is looking at investing in lithium mines in countries like Argentina and Australia, they added.

The requirement of lithium has risen in India as well as globally owing to its usage in batteries for electric cars.

With electric vehicles in India rising exponentially, owing to the government’s green energy push, lithium is being sourced and mined domestically also.

A lithium-ion battery pack for a single electric car contains about 8 kg of lithium, according to industry experts.

Official sources further informed that in the last five years, Geological Survey of India (GSI), has carried out 20 projects on lithium and associated elements in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya and Rajasthan.

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