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India To Open Lithium Reserves For Auction Later This Year

The Indian government is expected to initiate auction of mining rights for lithium reserves later this year.

According to media reports, the Indian government will offer mining rights for lithium reserves in Jammu & Kashmir later in 2023. The focus of the auction will be the recently confirmed 5.9 million tonne reserves in the Resai district of Jammu & Kashmir.

India is almost completely dependent on imports for lithium and lithium-ion cells. According to media reports, it imports raw lithium from Australia and Argentina while cells are imported from China.

The reserves, confirmed earlier this year, have placed India among the top five countries for lithium reserves. The reserves are said to have a high purity and are graded at 500 parts per million compared to the normal grade of 220 parts per million.

India’s minister for transportation has expressed optimism about the country’s improved prospects as an EV powerhouse following conformation of these reserves. Nitin Gadkari claimed that India could become the largest EV manufacturer in the world using these reserves.

Mining and optimally using these reserves can certainly enable India to achieve it ambitious targets under the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage. The Indian government aims to achieve a 30% share of electric vehicles in private cars, 70% in commercial vehicles, and 80% in two- and three-wheelers by 2030.

Indian companies have started preparations to enter lithium mining. Government-owned mining company NMDC is reportedly looking to enter into partnership with Australia’s Hancock.

Featured image courtesy of DALL·E

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