Lithium Found in India | Full details Explained.

Lithium is found in India. India’s dependence on the import of EV batteries, laptops, mobile phones, and other electronic devices would be significantly reduced since the discovery of a 5.9 million tonnes lithium reserve in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi District. The reserve can help meet India’s expanding EV industry’s lithium demand. Since the commercialization of lithium-ion batteries in the 1990s, significant technological advancements have put lithium at the forefront, according to Austrade, The Australian Trade and Investment Commission. Australian government’s trade, investment, and education promotion agency. It is the driving force behind the revolution in smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices.

Lithium found in India

Lithium Found in India
Lithium Found in India

The Geological Survey of India recently announced the discovery of 5.9 million tons of lithium in Jammu & Kashmir. At current lithium prices, it is valued at a whopping INR34 trillion. This article aims to analyze the potential impact of this discovery on India, the steps required before its final production, and evaluate the performance of electric vehicles in 2022, as lithium is a critical component in their batteries. For starters, a “resource” refers to an estimated amount of a geological commodity in discovered and undiscovered deposits, while “reserves” are a subset of resources that are economically viable to extract.

India’s mining secretary stated that the lithium found in Jammu & Kashmir is of high quality, with a grade of 500 ppm, compared to the normal grade of 200 ppm. The assessment of the mineral concession is analyzed using the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC), which is a three-dimensional system considering geological, feasibility, and economic factors. The Geological axis has four stages (1) reconnaissance (G4), (2) prospecting (G3), (3) general exploration (G2), and (4) detailed exploration (G1).

The recent lithium discovery is classified as G3. Further exploration, a detailed mapping including geochemical and geophysical surveys and drilling, is required to arrive at a G1 estimate. Simultaneously, an economic analysis will also be conducted to determine economically viable extractable mineral content.

In India, mineral extraction is regulated by the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, of 1957. Lithium-bearing minerals are classified as atomic minerals (part B of the First Schedule) and regulated by the Atomic Mineral Concession Rules, 2016. The permitting process for extraction includes a Reconnaissance permit, Prospecting License, and eventually, a Mining Lease.

Game changer for India- 

India, which has mostly relied on imports for the mineral, now has hope with the finding of a large reserve. The fact that the majority of the global reserve is located in regions with severe water stress makes this discovery even more important. India is a potential replacement because the mineral requires a large amount of water for extraction and the majority of the reserves are in nations with water shortages.

EVs aren’t the only thing that uses lithium; it’s also used in the medical field, in electronics that run our phones, in solar panels, and in other renewable technologies essential for the switch to clean energy. The discovery might mark the start of a new era for the entire world as well as India.

Environmental Effect- 

The applications of Li in renewable energy infrastructure often obscure its significant environmental consequences, which vary according to the source. Extracting Li from hard rock mines, similar to what has already been proposed in J&K, entails open-pit-mining followed by roasting the ore using fossil fuels. Industry estimates suggest that this process consumes 170 cubic meters of water and releases 15 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of Li extracted.

Open-pit-mining, refining, and waste disposal from these processes substantially degrade the environment, including depleting and contaminating waterways and groundwater, diminishing biodiversity, and releasing considerable air pollution. This said, the geological context of mining in J&K differs from Australia, which has the largest Li stock in hard rock mines, in one major way.

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