India to auction Jammu and Kashmir lithium reserves in few weeks; overseas miners show interest: Report

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  • India, found its first lithium deposits in Jammu and Kashmir with estimated reserves of 5.9 million tonnes. 
  • India’s federally administered region of Jammu and Kashmir will auction its lithium reserves over the next few weeks. 
  • “The auction will happen soon and some overseas miners have shown interest,” the source said. 
  • The source also said that KABIL, a state-owned joint venture formed to scout for minerals overseas, was in the “final stages” of securing a few lithium blocks in Argentina. 
  • India, among the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters, has been pursuing overseas pacts to secure key minerals in resource-rich countries such as Australia, Argentina, and Chile. 

India, which has been exploring ways to secure supplies of lithium, a critical raw material used to make electric vehicle batteries, in February found its first lithium deposits in Jammu and Kashmir with estimated reserves of 5.9 million tonnes.

“The auction will happen soon and some overseas miners have shown interest,” the source said, declining to be identified because of the sensitive nature of discussions.

The federal mines ministry did not immediately reply to the agency’s email seeking comments.

The source also said that KABIL, a state-owned joint venture formed to scout for minerals overseas, was in the “final stages” of securing a few lithium blocks in Argentina.

Discussions with the Chilean government were also underway to secure lithium blocks although talks were still in the early stages, the source added.

KABIL, short for Khanij Bidesh India Ltd, was formed in August 2019 to identify, acquire, develop, and process strategic minerals overseas for use in India.

India, among the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters, has been pursuing overseas pacts to secure key minerals in resource-rich countries such as Australia, Argentina, and Chile.

Earlier this year, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) reported the discovery of 5.9 million tonnes of inferred lithium resources (G3) in the Salal-Haimana area of Jammu & Kashmir’s Reasi district.

Additionally, the GSI intends to conduct further exploration activities in Jammu & Kashmir to identify additional lithium reserves. Furthermore, following the initial exploration in the Salal-Haimna region of Reasi district, GSI has initiated a subsequent reconnaissance G4 stage exploration program for lithium and related minerals in the Panasa-Dugga-Baldhanun-Chakar- Sangarmarg (Saro-da-Bas) area of Reasi district during the current field season of 2022-23. with ongoing work in progress.

(With Inputs from agencies)

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