Kolkata: Australian mining company Neometals has inked a pack with Manikaran Power Ltd, India's third-largest power trading and diversified renewable energy company, to jointly fund a feasibility study to set up India's first lithium refinery, top company officials said.
Manikaran Power’s objective is to fulfill the short term as well as long term energy requirements of its customers and facilitate transmission of power from surplus utilities, CPP's and other non conventional energy sources to the deficit region or load centers at market competitive prices, top Manikaran Power officials said.
"Neometals and Manikaran hold a common belief in the future demand for lithium driven by the electrification of transport and storage of renewable energy. Given India's growth projections for electric vehicle and lithium battery manufacturing capacity, this opportunity to partner in India's first domestic lithium development and potentially realise value from downstream processing our offtake option from Mt Marion is compelling,” said Chris Reed, Managing Director, Neometals.
The refinery, once up and running, is expected to process ore from Mount Marion mine in western parts of Australia, to produce battery grade material for electric cars. In the new scheme of things, the two companies will contribute their respective skills, resources and know-how towards achieving a positive outcome from the evaluation activities and to share costs equally, the official communiqué from Neometals said.
Going by the indications by the two companies, the feasibility study might take nearly 24 months or so and accordingly the final investment decision is expected to be taken in the first half of 2021.
Reed said, "Manikaran has significant on-the-ground presence and commercial standing in India to assist with site location, regulations, access to finance, utilities and reagents, and is part of a group of companies with broad competencies that enhance their value proposition as partners."...