India found lithium reserve

According to the Geological Survey of India (GSI), India found lithium reserve in the country. A total of 5.9 million tonnes (MT) of lithium is found in the Salal-Haimana area of the Reasi District of Jammu & Kashmir. This has generated interest in using lithium commercially for the country’s impending energy transition, but experts believe it is still too early and could take years.

In the years 2020–21, India imported lithium batteries valued at an estimated $8,800 crore and more than $170 crore, and the market is expanding more quickly. To increase battery production and EV penetration in India, the government eliminated customs duties on imports of capital goods and machinery for the production of li-ion cells for EV batteries in the Union Budget 2023.

The GSI’s discovery is currently in the G3 category of initial assessment (Inferred Resources), according to experts. This means that additional research and studies are needed to move the discovery into the final “confident G1 or G2” category of “mineable reserves,” where the ministry of mines can precisely determine how much tonnage is available, how much can be extracted, and also determine the quality of the mineral. To economically use the “soft, silvery-white metal belonging to the alkali metals group,” they claim, it may still take at least 5-7 years.

They claim that the excitement surrounding lithium is connected to the global deployment of EVs and renewable energy storage. In addition to being more efficient, lithium batteries can last up to ten times longer than lead-acid batteries and are already between 50 and 60 percent lighter. Lithium is used in all cathode chemistries in batteries (and potentially next-generation anodes). In some cathode chemistries, nickel and cobalt are also employed, and copper is used for motor windings and rotors. Currently, these components make up around 50% of the price of a battery.

According to the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), India’s yearly energy storage demand would increase from less than 10 gigawatt hours (GWh) at present to more than 50 GWh by 2025 and more than 150 GWh by 2030. According to NITI Aayog, India’s battery storage market is anticipated to grow to more than 1000 GWh by 2030, representing a $250 billion market overall.

According to a recent International Energy Agency (IEA) research, China processes 58% of the world’s lithium, followed by Chile (29%) and Argentina (1%), whereas Australia accounts for 52% of the world’s lithium extraction, followed by Chile (22%) and China (13%) The majority of verified lithium reserves, according to McKinsey, are located in Australia and Latin America (5.7 MT).

Chile tops the list of the ten nations with the highest concentration of lithium reserves, with 9.2 million MT (obtained from brines), followed by Argentina (2.2 MT), China (1.5 MT), and countries with less than one MT of lithium include Mexico, Canada, Congo, Mali, Zimbabwe, and less than one MT each.

Due to recent market disruptions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and years of underinvestment in the mining sector, spot prices for battery-grade lithium have increased by over 400 percent year over year since July 2022, while nickel prices have more than doubled during the same period, according to McKinsey’s experts in a recent briefing note on “Sustainable and inclusive growth.”

India found lithium reserve and thats too in India, no doubt this is a great news, but still there is a long way to go. It will take 5-7 years to get the lithium from the mine for the battery manufacturing.

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