In a significant development, the Geological Survey of India, on February 9, 2023, found lithium deposits of 5.9 million tonnes in Salal Haimana area of Reasi District, Jammu & Kashmir.
It is one of the significant developments in India’s journey towards mass production of electric vehicles. Lithium is one of the key components used in manufacturing batteries with high energy density, which is used in smartphones, electric vehicles and other electronic equipment. Lithium battery has a high power-to-weight ratio.
It is more energy-efficient. As a result, it is a safer and more dependable procedure.
Importantly, India has set a target to expand EV penetration by 30 per cent by 2030, which is presently, less than 1 per cent of all new cars sold in the nation are electric vehicles. Earlier, as per the Ministry of Mines, India used to import lithium from Argentina and Australia.
Here it is worth mentioning that the Indian automotive market will be the third largest by 2030 in terms of volume. The country has projected an ambitious target of achieving 100 per cent electrification by 2030.
According to a study by CEEW Centre for Energy Finance, the EV market in India will be worth USD 206 billion by 2030. In 2021, the Indian EV industry attracted USD 6 billion in investment and further becoming more attractive to private investors.
Non-ferrous metal lithium is one of the most important elements of EV batteries. India now imports most of its minerals, and nickel, including lithium and cobalt. This is done to improve the vital mineral supply chain for new technologies.
Notably, lithium is not found as a metal in nature, but it is found combined in the waters of many mineral springs and in small amounts in igneous rocks.
Surprisingly, 50 per cent of the world’s lithium reserves are found in three South American countries—Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. Notably, China refines 75 per cent of the world’s lithium.