India Discovers Game-Changing Lithium Reserves

In May 2023, India announced huge #lithium reserves in Rajasthan. Three months ago, India announced another major lithium mine in Jammu and Kashimir. Cumulatively, the total estimated reserves is 5.9 million tonnes worth more than USD 400 billion based on current market price.

The lucky strike has propelled India to the 5th position in the world in term of lithium reserves. In addition, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) revealed that northeastern states and other regions have also shown great promise in terms of lithium mining.

It is estimated the domestic reserves can meet up to 80% of India’s needs for lithium. More importantly perhaps, it will allow India to reduce its dependence on imports, which most originate from China. In 2022, Indian imports of Li-ion batteries amounted to nearly USD 2 billion, with nearly 90% coming from China.

In July 2023, the Lok Sabah passed the Mine and Minerals Development Bill into law. The new law allows private companies to explore and exploit mines which was previously a domain strictly reserved for State-Owned Companies (#SOE). It is hoped that the amended law will help to attract private investment into mining and help India achieve security vis-a-vis #CriticalMinerals and to achieve its #decarbonization goals.

Observers note that the discovery has the potential to make India a leader in the #GreenTransition as the world moves away from fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles (EV). Alternatively, India has also been pushing hydrogen technology as another green fuel.