The Geological survey of India team found 5.9 million tones of lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir region of India, the total quantity of lithium found surpasses China.
Lithium is a non-ferrous metal and is one of the key components for electric vehicle, mobile, laptop batteries etc.
Lithium falls in the critical resource category which was not earlier available in India and were dependent for its 100 percent import. The G3 (advanced) study of the GSI shows the presence of best quality lithium in abundant quantity in the foothills of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine at Salal village (Reasi).
The normal grade of lithium is 220 parts per million (PPM), the lithium found in J&K is of 500 ppm-plus grading, and with a stockpile of 5.9 million tons, India will surpass China in its availability.
“For the first time, lithium reserves have been discovered and that too in Jammu and Kashmir,” Mines Secretary Vivek Bharadwaj said.
Asked about the possible timeline for its extraction to start, he said every project takes its own time. “We had G3 level study and it will now be followed by G2 and G1 study before the final extraction of the metal.”
Earlier, the mines ministry had said that to strengthen the critical mineral supply chain for emerging technologies, the government was taking several proactive measures to secure minerals, including lithium, from Australia and Argentina.
Currently, India is import-dependent for many minerals like lithium, nickel and cobalt.
Speaking at the 62nd Central Geological Programming board meeting here, Bharadwaj also said that whether it is a mobile phone or a solar panel, critical minerals are required everywhere.
In order to become self-reliant, it is very important for the country to find out critical minerals and also process it, he said.
He also said that if gold imports are reduced, then “we will become aatmanirbhar (self-reliant)”.