India Advancing Towards Securing Overseas Lithium Reserves

India Advancing Towards Securing Overseas Lithium Reserves

Enhanced Exploration and Overseas Acquisitions

India is on the verge of securing lithium reserves overseas, as per Union Minister of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi. Acknowledging the limited availability of lithium and other critical minerals within the country, the Indian government is focusing on augmenting supplies through international acquisitions. This initiative aligns with the country’s need for these minerals, particularly for its growing electric vehicle (EV) market and energy storage solutions.

Record Number of Exploration Projects

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has initiated an unprecedented 125 exploration projects this year, marking a significant increase in efforts to discover critical and strategic minerals domestically. The exploration extends to a list of 30 critical minerals, including lithium, cobalt, copper, and rare earth elements.

Auction of Lithium Blocks

Recently, India has opened auctions for two lithium blocks – one in Salal-Haimna, Jammu & Kashmir, and the other in Katghora, Chhattisgarh. The move is seen as a stride towards reducing the country’s dependency on lithium imports, which currently stands at a substantial Rs. 24,000 crore annually.

Strategy for Overseas Lithium Acquisition

The Indian government is in active discussions regarding the acquisition of lithium mines overseas, a decision that awaits Cabinet approval. These acquisitions might take various forms, including direct purchases, stake acquisitions, or other collaborative agreements, depending on the specific circumstances and agreements with other countries.

Impact on Lithium Imports

Despite these efforts, lithium imports are expected to rise in the short term due to the booming EV market in India and the ongoing high demand for the metal. The government’s dual approach of enhancing domestic exploration while securing overseas supplies aims to mitigate this rising demand and ensure a steady supply of lithium and other critical minerals. icon

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