Lithium reserves were discovered for the first time in India, the government announced on February 9. Lithium reserves were discovered during exploration by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

"For the first time, lithium reserves have been discovered and that too in Jammu and Kashmir," Mines Secretary Vivek Bharadwaj said.

“We have re-oriented our exploration measures towards critical and strategic minerals and this discovery is a vindication of our efforts," Bhardwaj said to a query by Mint.

Demand For Lithium

Non-ferrous metal lithium is one of the essential elements of EV batteries. India now imports most of its minerals, including lithium, nickel, and cobalt.

The government is taking many proactive steps to obtain minerals, particularly lithium, from Australia and Argentina, according to earlier statements from the mines ministry. This is done in order to improve the vital mineral supply chain for new technologies.

Why Is It A Big Deal?

Critical minerals are needed everywhere, whether it be for a solar panel or a cell phone, according to Bharadwaj, who was speaking at the 62nd Central Geological Programming board meeting in this location. He stated that it is crucial for the nation to identify key minerals and then process them in order to become self-sufficient.

With 50% of the deposits concentrated in these three South American countries—Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile—the lithium triangle is where the majority of the world's lithium reserves are located. China, on the other hand, has an advantage over other nations and is in charge of 75% of the world's lithium refining.

The only alternative for electric cars is a lithium battery since it has a high power-to-weight ratio and can deliver a lot of power while keeping the curb weight of the car low. It also works better in a variety of temperatures and is more energy-efficient. As a result, it is a safer and more dependable procedure than other ones.

That is why the Lithium reserves discovery is a big deal since the mineral is a key component in India's ambition to expand EV penetration by 30% by 2030; as of present, less than 1% of all new cars sold in the nation are electric vehicles.