RANCHI, 5 October 2023: Jharkhand, once known for exporting mica worldwide, is making headlines once again. This time, it’s for its lithium reserves a “cosmic” mineral crucial to India’s energy security plans. Lithium holds immense potential in achieving zero-carbon green energy goals globally and is a gamechanger mineral in the years to come.
Lithium: A Catalyst for Green Energy
The sizeable reserves of lithium in Jharkhand have opened up exciting possibilities for India’s battery-based electric vehicle (EV) industry. Beyond EVs, lithium finds applications in medical technology, electronics, mobile phones, solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewable technologies.
Abundant Lithium Reserves in Jharkhand
A geological survey by the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) revealed substantial lithium reserves in Koderma and Giridih, Jharkhand, along with several other rare minerals. Notably, the Geological Survey of India recently identified 1,600 tonnes of lithium in Karnataka and 59 lakh tonnes in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district.
Efforts are underway to explore lithium extraction possibilities in East Singhbhum and Hazaribagh, apart from Koderma and Giridih.
India’s Lithium Dependency
Currently, India’s electric vehicle industry relies entirely on lithium imports, primarily from China. With the central government targeting a 30% increase in EV adoption by 2030, lithium assumes paramount importance. Hence, the government is keenly exploring lithium exploration possibilities.
Jharkhand’s Lithium Reserves: A Strategic Asset
Following Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand’s lithium reserves are considered pivotal for India’s future. According to Geological Survey of India (GSI) data, areas like Tilaiya block in Koderma and Dhodhakola-Kusuma belt in Jharkhand show promise not only for lithium but also for metals like Li (Li), Cesium, REE, and RM in Gawan block of Giridih and Pihra belt of Koderma.
Government Initiatives and Investor Interest
The government of Jharkhand has launched efforts to harness its lithium potential, attracting the interest of investors. In June, Paul Lock, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Pan Asia Metals Ltd, discussed investment possibilities in lithium mining with Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren. Soren emphasized that the state government would approach lithium production systematically.
The Future of Lithium Production in India
Experts believe that if India becomes self-sufficient in lithium production, electric batteries will become more affordable. This, in turn, will lower the cost of electric cars, making them more accessible to the masses. Jharkhand’s lithium reserves are poised to play a pivotal role in India’s journey toward green and sustainable transportation.
Jharkhand’s lithium reservoirs represent a significant step toward India’s green and self-sufficient future in the electric vehicle industry.
Image credit: Moneycontrol