In a major discovery, the Union Government of India announced on Thursday the identification of 5.9 million tonnes of lithium reserves in the country for the first time. This news comes as a boon for India’s electric vehicle (EV) industry, as lithium is one of the key components in EV batteries.
The geological survey of India (GSI) found the lithium reserves in the Salal-Haimana area of the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. The GSI has handed over 51 mineral blocks, including lithium and gold, to the respective state governments. The blocks are spread across 11 states of Jammu and Kashmir (UT), Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.
In addition to the mineral blocks, the GSI also handed over 17 reports of coal and lignite with a total resource of 7897 million tonnes to the Ministry of Coal. The GSI has taken up 115 projects on strategic and critical minerals and 16 projects on fertiliser minerals. To support its objectives, the GSI has also taken up 55 programmes on geoinformatics, 140 programmes on fundamental and multidisciplinary geosciences, and 155 programmes for training and institutional capacity building.
The GSI, established in 1851, has grown into a repository of geo-science information and a geo-scientific organization of international repute. Its primary role is to provide impartial and up-to-date geological expertise and geoscientific information for policy-making decisions, commercial and socio-economic needs.
The discovery of lithium reserves in India is a significant step towards the country’s self-reliance in critical minerals and boosting the country’s EV industry. The GSI’s proposed Annual Programme for the Field Season 2023-24, which was presented and discussed during the meeting, includes 966 programmes, comprising 318 mineral exploration projects, including 12 marine mineral investigation projects.
In conclusion, the discovery of lithium reserves in India is a major milestone for the country’s mineral sector and is poised to transform the country’s EV industry. The GSI’s efforts to create and update national geoscientific information and mineral resource assessments are commendable, and its continued work towards discovering more reserves is sure to drive the country’s economic growth in the future.