Mines' ministry's Geological Survey of India (GSI) has taken up seven projects on Llithium in Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Rajasthan during the Field Season Programme (FSP) 2021-22.
Pralhad Joshi, minister of mines, coal and parliamentary affairs, in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, said every year, as per the approved annual FSP, GSI takes up different stages of mineral exploration -- reconnaissance surveys, preliminary exploration and general exploration following the guidelines of United Nations Framework Classification and Mineral Evidence and Mineral Content Rules (2015) for augmenting mineral resources for various mineral commodities including lithium.
During the FSP 2016-17 to 2020-21, GSI carried out 14 projects on lithium and associated elements in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Karnataka and Rajasthan. However, the resource of lithium has not yet been augmented by GSI.
Even the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMDER), under the Department of Atomic Energy, has undertaken lithium exploration in Karnataka and Rajasthan. AMDER has also taken up subsurface exploration in the Marlagalla area, Mandya district, Karnataka.
This comes in the backdrop of the Centre announcing a PLI scheme worth Rs 18,100 crore to make lithium-ion cells to promote e-mobility in India. However, India doesn't have enough reserves for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries, with lithium also having other uses such as mobile phone batteries, solar panels and aerospace. Almost all EVs in India run on imported batteries, with most arriving from China.
Also, state-run Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) -- a joint venture firm of National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO), Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL)with equity participation of 40:30:30 respectively -- is looking to acquire cobalt and lithium mines overseas.
India has also inked an agreement with Argentina for securing strategic minerals. The KABIL has inked a non-binding MoU with three organisations of Argentina -- JEMSE, a state-owned enterprise of JUJUY province on July 10, 2020; YPF an Energy major & federal owned enterprises on September 9, 2020; and CAMYEN, a state-owned enterprise of CATAMARCA province on December 29, 2020.
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today