India Strikes Lithium Gold!

India Strikes Lithium Gold!

Lithium, a rare metal which makes up about 0.0007% of the earth’s crust, is found as a treasure in Jammu and Kashmir. Let’s explore what it means for India.

What’s Happening?

Today we will discuss a metal that surrounds you like a magnet. It is present in every little thing we own, from rechargeable batteries of smartphones, laptops, smartwatches, cameras, EV cars and even toys. Not just that, several chemical compounds of lithium are used to make special glasses and even medicines. 

You would have seen the Li-ion or lithium-ion battery tag on most of your gadgets. That’s because it is a precious metal which is as rare as gold. We could instead say it is gold for the tech industry. 

If we look at some stats, lithium is so rare that it makes up about 0.0007% of the earth’s crust 

So what? Can’t we reuse lithium just as we do for other metals? According to BBC, unfortunately, many lithium-ion batteries today are not recycled because of the associated energy and labour cost. 

We know that the future relies on batteries, so we will either need unlimited lithium reserves or have to find a way to reuse lithium. Hence, scientists are still finding solutions to reuse this precious resource. 

But the question remains, why are we suddenly telling you about this rare resource? Well, India has discovered a whopping 5.9 million tonnes of lithium reserves . India used to be one of the largest importers of lithium-ion batteries from China, Japan and South Korea. But this discovery is a game changer. 

According to the Geological Survey of India (GSI), the reserves have been found in the Salal-Haimana area of the Reasi district in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Which Countries are Lithium Rich?

Over 50% of the world’s lithium reserves are found in the Lithium Triangle in South America. Three countries form this triangle – Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia.

Now India has also joined the list. 

What’s Next?

This lithium treasure will help India achieve its ‘Electric Mobility Target by 2030’. Under this aim, India wants 30% of private cars, 70% of commercial vehicles and 80% of two and three-wheelers to be electric by 2030. For this, India signed several Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with lithium-rich countries so that they could supply lithium when needed. With this discovery, India can end its dependence on imports and become aatmanirbhar in producing lithium-ion batteries. 

Currently, India has a lithium refinery in Gujarat. In the upcoming times, the government will have to invest a lot more to set up refineries to produce batteries within the country. 

That’s it for today.

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