Rajasthan's lithium to power India

Update: 2023-05-09 06:53 GMT
India has found huge reserves of lithium at Degana in Rajasthan, which can meet 80 per cent of India's needs. (Representational image: AFP)

Pune: India has found huge reserves of lithium  at Degana in Rajasthan, which can meet 80 per cent of India’s needs, officials said on Monday.

According to the Rajas-than government and the Geological Survey of India (GSI) officials, these reserves identified in the Degana municipality of Nagaur district in Rajas-than are said to contain significantly more lithium than the 5.9 million tonnes found in Jammu and Kashmir recently.

The officials claimed that the quantity of lithium found in Rajasthan can meet about 80 per cent of the country’s demand and requirement.

For the first time, lithium reserves were found in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi in February this year — a significant mineral discovery in India, as previously only a small reserve had been discovered in Karnataka.

Since lithium is a key component of batteries used in electric vehicles, the government is searching for rare metal reserves both within and outside the country.

Lithium is the lightest as well as the softest metal across the globe. A nonferrous metal, it converts chemical energy into electrical energy and is one of the key components in EV batteries.

As of now, India depends on imports for many minerals like lithium, such as nickel and cobalt, and has been looking to strengthen its supply of these key minerals, which are otherwise crucial for furthering its plans to expand its electrical vehicle footprint.

At the moment, 47 per cent of the world’s lithium production takes place in Australia, 30 per cent in Chile and 15 per cent in China. But, 58 per cent of the mineral’s processing takes place in China, 29 in Chile and 10 per cent in Argentina.

India's plan to increase EV penetration by 30 per cent by 2030 relies heavily on lithium — as of now, only a little more than 1 per cent of all vehicle sales in the country are electric vehicles.

“As India discovers significant lithium reserves in Rajasthan, in addition to the previously discovered reserves in Jammu and Kashmir, the country is well positioned to become the third largest market for EVs in the next four years,” said Varun Goenka, CEO & Co-Founder at Chargeup.

Batteries, being the single largest cost and supplies dominated by China, have been a major obstacle for India's EV industry, he noted.

“However, with the 'Make in India' initiative and the discovery of lithium reserves, India is now able to reduce its dependence on foreign countries and control the fluctuating price of lithium,” Goenka said.


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