The Indian EV industry is looking towards a brighter future if a recently published Bloomberg report is to be believed. As per the report, the Indian government is mulling over an idea to let private miners extract lithium, a critical element of electric vehicle batteries, by changing the law. The government wants this to happen in the current parliament session only.
The current law bars private players from extracting eight minerals, including lithium, zirconium and beryllium. By amending the law, the government is trying to fix the supply chain issues involved with the battery raw materials and also wants to reduce the country’s dependence on imports from China which are currently 87% of the total.
Lithium Site in India
The preliminary surveys of the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a government agency, have found a preliminary 1600 tonnes of lithium reserves in the Mandya district of Karnataka. However, for now, these reserves are marked as “inferred category”, which signifies a low level of confidence. The actual significance and the total quantity of lithium resources can only be established only after a complete exploration of the entire area. This law, if changed, will give a boost to lithium exploration in other potential areas well.
By doing so, it also wants to cater to the ensuing global demands as the world transitions towards green energy. If this amendment becomes a reality, it will significantly contribute to the country’s carbon-neutral target by 2070. The batteries thus produced will be used in developing energy storage systems for renewables contributing toward India’s goal of producing 500GW of energy using cleaner means by 2030.
An Indian Govt. Firm For Abroad Explorations
Two years back, with a similar goal, a new firm, Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL), a joint venture (JV) of three state firms, i.e. NALCO, Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) and MECL, was formed. This JV has the mandate to explore, acquire & process the strategic minerals abroad for commercial use and for supplying to meet domestic requirements. Recently, this JV signed an MoU with Australia’s Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO) to identify lithium and cobalt mineral assets in Australia for select projects. With these initiatives, the Indian government is leaving no stone unturned to make India self-reliant for its greener future and giving further stimulus to its Aatmanirbhar Bharat push.