Lithium reserves in Raj raise hopes of reduced dependence on China
Jaipur, According to Rajasthan government officials, lithium reserves have been discovered in Degana (Nagaur) in Rajasthan.
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) and mining officials claim that the capacity of lithium reserves discovered here is greater than the capacity of lithium reserves discovered recently in Jammu and Kashmir.
It is claimed that there is enough lithium here to meet 80 per cent of India’s total demand. Until now, India has relied on China for lithium. It is now believed that China’s monopoly will end, and Rajasthan’s fortunes will rise alongside those of the Gulf countries.
Lithium is a nonferrous metal that is used in the production of mobile-laptop, electric vehicles, and other rechargeable batteries.
India is entirely reliant on expensive foreign supplies of lithium. Now, GSI has discovered large deposits of lithium near Degana.
The same Renvat hill of Degan has lithium reserves in Rajasthan.
Prior to independence, the tungsten produced here was used to manufacture war material for the British Army during World War I. Following independence, it was also used in the production of surgical instruments in the country’s energy and health sectors. Around 1500 people worked here at the time.
China’s cheap export policy made tungsten exports from here expensive in 1992-93. Tungsten production was eventually halted here.
This hill, which had been inhabited for years and had contributed to the country’s development by supplying tungsten, was deserted in a single stroke.
During that time, the offices, houses, gardens, and even schools built by GSI and other government officials were destroyed. According to officials, the lithium that is now being extracted from this hill will change the fate of Rajasthan and the country.
Lithium is the lightest metal on the planet, and it is required by every battery-powered device.
Lithium is also the world’s softest and lightest metal. It is soft enough to cut with a vegetable knife and light enough to float in water. It converts chemical energy into electrical energy by storing it.
Today, lithium can be found in every chargeable electronic and battery-powered device in the home. As a result, there is a huge demand for lithium all over the world. It is also known as White Gold due to its high global demand.
One tonne of lithium is worth approximately Rs 57.36 lakh globally.
Energy transformation is occurring all over the world. Every country is rapidly transitioning from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy. The use of lithium is expanding, from aircraft to wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, mobile phones, and every small and large chargeable device in the home.
According to a World Bank report, global demand for lithium metal will increase by 500% by 2050.
In this regard, having vast reserves of lithium in Rajasthan is extremely beneficial not only for the state but also for the national economy.
Bolivia currently has the world’s largest lithium reserves of 21 million tonnes. Following that, there are significant reserves in Argentina, Chile, and America. Despite this, China, which has 5.1 million tonnes of lithium reserves, maintains a global market monopoly.
India must also purchase 53.76% of its total lithium imports from China. In the fiscal year 2020-21, India imported lithium worth more than Rs 6,000 crore, with China accounting for more than Rs 3,500 crore of this total.
The discovery of lithium reserves in Rajasthan is also an intriguing story. The GSI survey team arrived in Degana on the orders of the Central Government in search of high-grade tungsten minerals. Meanwhile, the GSI survey team discovered the presence of lithium reserves in this area.
In response to Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal’s question in Parliament on March 29, 2023, Union Minister of Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi stated that GSI is conducting a survey in Renwat Hill and its surrounding area in Degana, Rajasthan for the discovery of high-grade quality tungsten.
So far, the GSI survey team has discovered deposits of high-quality tungsten, as well as lithium and four other minerals in the G2 stage survey.
Officials confirmed that lithium deposits were discovered near Degana during the GSI survey team’s search for tungsten.
Other possible locations for lithium deposits include Barmer and Jaisalmer. They stated that the survey team is accelerating the lithium exploration work. As a result, an auction for mining by exploration of the G2 stage can be held as soon as possible.
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Content Credit: Business Insider India