Metals & Mining News

India lithium: India’s Jammu and Kashmir lithium reserves pique overseas interest

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India’s federally administered region of Jammu and Kashmir will auction its lithium reserves over the next few weeks, a government source with close knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

India, which has been exploring ways to secure supplies of lithium, a critical raw material used to make electric vehicle batteries, in February found its first lithium deposits in Jammu and Kashmir with estimated reserves of 5.9 million tonnes.

“The auction will happen soon and some overseas miners have shown interest,” the source said, declining to be identified because of the sensitive nature of discussions.

The federal mines ministry did not immediately reply to a Reuters email seeking comments.

The source also said that KABIL, a state-owned joint venture formed to scout for minerals overseas, was in the “final stages” to secure a few lithium blocks in Argentina.

Discussions with the Chilean government were also underway to secure lithium blocks although talks were still in early stages, the source added. KABIL, short for Khanij Bidesh India Ltd, was formed in August 2019 to identify, acquire, develop and process strategic minerals overseas for use in India. India, among the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters, has been pursuing overseas pacts to secure key minerals in resource-rich countries such as Australia, Argentina and Chile.

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