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The Geological Survey of India has identified 5.9 million tonnes of Lithium-ion deposits in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi District of Jammu & Kashmir, the Ministry of Mines said on Thursday. This comes at a time when petrol and diesel prices are rising, and a switch to electric vehicles is being pushed.
GSI’s findings will lead to lower lithium imports from China, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Germany, and Korea, to name a few. The Department of Commerce recorded a total import of Lithium-ion in the year 2020-21 to be 5,16,733 thousand tonnes. With China’s dominance in lithium resources, this discovery in India can help it wean off from lithium imports and establish its own industry.
This is India’s first confirmed indigenous lithium-ion resource. In 2022, the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) found the presence of only 1,600 tonnes (inferred category) of lithium resources in the Marlagalla area, Mandya district of Karnataka.
Lithium is a metal that has been gaining importance as of late due to its use in batteries in different spheres with phone batteries, electronic vehicle batteries, laptops, Bluetooth headphones, carbon-monoxide/ fire alarm batteries, and many more uses. It has been dubbed ‘white gold’ and may hold more value than gold someday as it is a non-renewable form of energy used to make renewable products.
In India alone, 152 million units of smartphones were sold in 2022, and a surge was witnessed in the sale of electric vehicles. Over 2,23,781 electric vehicles were sold in India in 2021-22, which escalated to over 4,42,901 units sold by the end of 2022.
“Out of these 51 mineral blocks, 5 blocks pertain to gold, and other blocks pertain to commodities like potash, molybdenum, base metals, etc., spread across 11 states of Jammu & Kashmir (UT), Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana,” the Ministry of Mines said on Thursday.
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