Tata Steel’s Natural Resources Division explores opportunities in the battery-minerals-related segment, particularly lithium. The division has been operating for several decades, providing captive mining-related services. In 2021, it expanded its offerings and started providing commercial services to other mining companies through Tata Steel Industrial Consulting. Now, the division is considering participation as an exploration agency in the battery minerals sector, subject to economic feasibility.
The Tata Steel spokesperson confirmed that they would consider exploring resources of various battery minerals and potentially become an exploration agency in collaboration with partners. This move aligns with Tata Steel’s efforts to diversify its business and tap into the growing demand for lithium and other related minerals used in battery production.
In April, Tata Steel entered a business cooperation agreement with MN Dastur & Company Pvt. Ltd, a consultant engineering organization, to enhance its capabilities in mine infrastructure planning and feasibility reporting.
Additionally, the Tata Group, of which Tata Steel is a part, signed a deal with the Gujarat state government in June to establish a lithium-ion cell factory with an investment of approximately Rs 13,000 crore. The facility will have an initial manufacturing capacity of 20 Gigawatt hours (GWh), a crucial step to reduce India’s dependence on lithium imports for its lithium-ion battery requirements.
As of now, India relies on imports for lithium-ion batteries, as it lacks operational domestic sources of lithium. However, in February, the Geological Survey of India established lithium inferred resources in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi District, Jammu and Kashmir, offering potential for domestic lithium production.
Being listed as one of the 14 Notified Private Exploration Agencies (NPEA) by the Ministry of Mines, Tata Steel’s Natural Resources Division is well-positioned to venture into battery mineral exploration and contribute to India’s efforts to achieve greater self-sufficiency in lithium supply.
The revenue generated from the division’s commercial services is expected to aid Tata Steel in reducing administrative costs. This strategic move underscores Tata Steel’s commitment to embracing new opportunities and diversifying its portfolio in the rapidly evolving energy and battery technology sectors.
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