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India to look for lithium reserves in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia

Date: 05 January 2021 Tags: Energy
  • India has inked a pact with an Argentine firm mid-last year to jointly prospect lithium in the South American country that has the third largest reserves of lithium.
  • The new company, Khanij Bidesh India Ltd was incorporated in August, 2019 by three state-owned companies, NALCO, Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration Ltd, with a specific mandate to acquire strategic mineral assets such as lithium and cobalt abroad and is also learnt to be exploring options in Chile and Bolivia, two other top lithium-producing countries.
  • China is currently a key source of both the raw material and cells. India is seen as a late mover as it attempts to enter the lithium value chain, coming at a time when EVs are predicted to be a sector ripe for disruption.
  • While the Li-ion batteries are seen as sufficiently efficient for applications such as phones and laptops, in case of EVs, these cells still lack the range that would make them a viable alternative to internal combustion engines.