SRINAGAR: India is set to auction its lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir in the coming weeks, as revealed by an undisclosed government source of Reuters.
India, in its pursuit of securing a vital raw material for electric vehicle battery production, had identified its inaugural lithium deposits earlier this year in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, amounting to an estimated 5.9 million tonnes.
The source further disclosed that the auction is on the horizon, with foreign mining companies demonstrating interest. The Ministry of Mines has yet to respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
In addition, it was revealed that KABIL (Khanij Bidesh India Ltd), a state-owned joint venture specialising in global mineral exploration, is in the final stages of acquiring lithium reserves in Argentina. Preliminary discussions are also underway with the Chilean government regarding potential lithium reserves, although these discussions are still in their infancy.
India, a substantial contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, has actively pursued agreements with resource-rich nations like Australia, Argentina, and Chile to ensure a consistent supply of essential minerals.
Earlier this year, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) reported the discovery of 5.9 million tonnes of inferred lithium resources (G3) in the Salal-Haimana region of Jammu & Kashmir’s Reasi district. This discovery holds significance in the context of global efforts, including those within India, to transition towards more environmentally friendly practices.
Furthermore, the GSI plans to conduct further exploration activities in Jammu & Kashmir to identify additional lithium reserves. Following the initial exploration in the Salal-Haimna region of Reasi district, GSI has initiated a subsequent reconnaissance G4 stage exploration program for lithium and related minerals in the Panasa-Dugga-Baldhanun-Chakar-Sangarmarg (Saro-da-Bas) area of Reasi district during the current field season of 2022-23, with ongoing work in progress.