The 5.9 Million Tonnes Of lithium found last month would be made available for purchase, according to Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Minister for Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi. Lithium deposits were discovered in Jammu and Kashmir last month for the first time in contemporary India’s history.
Lithium is crucial from a global market perspective due to its expanding demand across a number of industries, including the production of batteries, electric vehicles, and consumer electronics. Lithium is the ideal metal for use in batteries due to its excellent electro chemical properties and modest weight.
As the world transitions to renewable energy and ecologically friendly transportation, the demand for lithium has increased. According to industry research, the global lithium-ion battery market would grow at a CAGR of 16.2% from 2021 to 2028, reaching $129.3 billion.
The growing need for lithium batteries for portable electronics, grid storage, and electric cars is fueling the growth of the lithium sector. As it is also used in lubricants, glass, ceramics, and medications, lithium is a versatile material with a wide range of applications. Due to the increased metal demand, lithium mining activities have grown all over the world, creating job opportunities and promoting economic development in many regions.
The source estimates that Australia has 6.3 million metric tonnes, Argentina has 17 million tonnes, and Bolivia has 21 million tonnes of lithium. Yet, China is the source of 4.5 million metric tonnes of light metal. In 2020, China will be the third-largest provider of the metal, with 7.9% of the world’s lithium deposits. Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina are collectively known as the “Lithium Triangle” because South America is an area with a very rich supply of metal.
“A US-based committee asserts that China spent $16 billion between 2018 and 2020 on mining activities abroad to look for lithium. In South America’s “lithium triangle,” it also made investments. China also leads the globe in the production of electric automobiles.
According to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Beijing already has access to 55% of the chemical lithium needed for battery-powered electric automobiles, mostly because of its early investment in Australia’s principal mining production facilities. Also, it is now becoming stronger in the lithium triangle.
China’s Ganfeng Lithium is the main owner of the Cauchar-Olaroz complex in Argentina, which is considered to be one of the top lithium-producing mines in the world. It is also one of the biggest exporters of EV batteries to India. This is a cause for worry given India’s tense relationship with the Dragon over territory issues. To become self-sufficient in the manufacture of EVs and stop relying on China for EV battery supply, India must increase its ownership of these lithium sources and fortify its position in overseas lithium mines.
With the discovery of a sizable resource, India, which previously primarily depended on imports for the mineral, now has optimism. This discovery is all the more significant given that the bulk of the world reserve is situated in areas with acute water stress. India is a possible substitute since the bulk of the deposits are in countries with a lack of water and the mineral takes a lot of water to be extracted.
According to the administration, a staggering 5.9 million metric tons of lithium were discovered in the Union Territory. Non-ferrous metal lithium is one of the essential elements of EV batteries. The government of the Union Territory of J&K will auction the mining block as a Composite License (CL). Following the auction, the winning bidder would assess the financial sustainability, Joshi said in the Rajya Sabha.
The successful auction of the mineral block will determine the anticipated timing of lithium production. The report has been sent to the government of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, according to the minister. “GSI (Geological Survey of India) carried out a G3 stage project during Field Seasons 2020–21 and 2021–22 in Salal-Haimna districts of Reasi district, Jammu and Kashmir,” the minister said.
The minister stated in a different response that GSI creates baseline geoscience data through mapping, such as geological, geochemical, and geophysical data, which is a requirement for determining the appropriate region for methodical mineral exploitation. GSI conducts systematic mineral exploration efforts for several important mineral commodities, including lithium, based on the mapping data.
Jammu and Kashmir Based on the mapping results, more exploration programmes for other mineral commodities, including lithium, will be launched in the future in various parts of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir.
The Center will mandate that only domestic refineries use the reserves, according to the official.
Chinese companies now dominate 75% of the world’s lithium refining. Three countries the US, China, and Hong Kong supply lithium to India. According to source, the goal of GSI is to provide a platform for R&D for lithium-ion battery recycling, acquisition, and joint manufacturing. GSI is a collaboration of National Aluminium Co., Hindustan Copper, and Mineral Exploration Corp.
Lithium, sometimes known as “white gold,” is not only essential for restoring the environment’s dwindling resources but also has the potential to advance businesses and nations with its worth. By 2030, it is expected that the market for electric cars will be worth more than $800 billion annually. So, India’s economy is projected to benefit greatly from the newly discovered reserves. Interestingly, the world’s top producers and exporters of lithium a crucial component of EV materials are Australia, Chile, Argentina, and China. India is now eligible to compete.
India has more lithium reserves than is necessary.
India has discovered more lithium than it will require over the next 20 years, according to study from the Berkley Lab, which will help the nation make the transition to a more energy-efficient economy. Lithium would be utilized extensively in the automotive batteries of electric cars, which could be recycled and used in new batteries. The main theme of the paper, titled “Pathways to Atmanirbhar Bharat,” is India’s aim to become energy independent by 2047. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab, a subsidiary of that organisation, released the study.
According to the report, adopting clean technology may significantly lower transition costs, and lithium edge technology can pave the door for economically viable energy independence by 2047. The new lithium find in India is thought to be 5.9 million tons, which is significantly more than the total amount of lithium needed over the next 20 or so years.
According to our calculations, the entire cumulative lithium demand between 2022 and 2040 will be around 1.9 million tons, of which 1.7 million tons would be utilized for electric cars. The research reveals. The research goes on to say, “We estimate that if the lithium in retiring EV batteries is recycled (up to 95%), it may cover between a quarter and a half of the annual lithium demand in the CLEAN-India in the 2040.
India is now the third-largest energy user in the world due to its fast economic expansion. In the upcoming decades, the country’s energy needs will triple. Currently, India imports 40% of its natural gas, 80% of its industrial coal, and 90% of its oil.
edited and proofread by Nikita Sharma