Lithium’s usage in electric vehicle batteries is a significant growth driver
Lithium reserves have been discovered in Degana, Rajasthan, reports have said, citing state government officials. Mining and Geological Survey of India (GSI) authorities claim the deposits are larger than those discovered earlier in Jammu and Kashmir.
Officials claim that the amount of lithium available here can cover 80 percent of the country’s demand, as per a report by CNBC-TV18. In February, the lithium reserves were discovered in Jammu and Kashmir. According to the Geological Survey of India, the newly discovered area in the Reasi district of J&K has 5.9 million tonne of lithium deposits.
Let’s understand what this means and why this is important:
WHAT IS LITHIUM?
Lithium is a chemical element of Periodic Group 1 (Ia), the alkali metal group, and the lightest of the solid elements. The metal itself, which is soft, white, and shiny, as well as several of its alloys and compounds, are manufactured on a large scale.
WHAT ALL IS LITHIUM USED FOR?
According to a report by Volkswagen, the global market for lithium is expanding quickly. Annual production in the top producing countries increased from 25,400 to 85,000 tonnes between 2008 and 2018.
Its usage in electric vehicle batteries is a significant growth driver. However, lithium is also used in laptop and cell phone batteries, as well as in the glass and ceramics industries, the report says.
WHERE ALL IS LITHIUM FOUND & WHERE DOES INDIA STAND NOW?
According to data compiled as of June 3, 2022, Bolivia had the most lithium deposits, followed by Chile, Australia, China, and Argentina, according to SPglobal.
|COUNTRY||LITHIUM RESERVE IN TONNES|
An India’s first large lithium discovery, with the sole other reserves being a minor 1600-tonne deposit identified in Karnataka two years ago, means India now has the world’s fifth-largest lithium reserves, just ahead of the United States, says a report by Quartz.
Until now, the country had relied on Australia, Chile, and Argentina for any lithium imports required for its manufacturing sector. But because refining lithium ore into a material that can be used to produce batteries is a difficult process, India will continue to rely on imports for at least a few years, the Quartz report says.
WILL REDUCE DEPENDENCE ON CHINA?
It is claimed that there is so much lithium here that 80 percent of India’s total demand can be met from here. Till now India is dependent on China for lithium. Now it is believed that China’s monopoly will end and like the Gulf countries, the fortunes of Rajasthan will also rise.Lithium reserves in Rajasthan have been found in the same Renvat hill of Degana and its surrounding area, from where tungsten mineral was once supplied to the country. During the British rule, the British had discovered tungsten mineral in the year 1914 on the hill of Renwat in Degana.Before independence, the tungsten produced here was used to make war material for the British Army during the First World War.
After independence, it was also used in the field of making surgical instruments in energy and health sector in the country. At that time around 1500 people used to work here.
In the year 1992-93, China’s cheap export policy made tungsten coming out of here expensive. Eventually, the production of tungsten was stopped here. This hill, which was inhabited all the time and helped in the development of the country by supplying tungsten for years, became deserted in a single stroke.During that period, the offices, houses, gardens and even the schools built by the officials of GSI and other government agencies were turned into ruins. Now the lithium coming out of this hill will change the fate of Rajasthan and the country, said officials.
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