The agreement, signed between the government-owned Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) has signed an agreement with the state-owned enterprise of Catamarca province in Argentina, CAMYEN SE (Catamarca Minera Y Energética Sociedad Del Estado), marks India’s first-ever lithium exploration and mining project by a government company.
The signing took place in Catamarca, Argentina, in the presence of Catamarca’s Governor Lic. Raul Jalil, Vice Governor Eng. Ruben Dusso, Catamarca’s Minister of Mines Marcelo Murua, and the Indian High Commissioner to Argentina Dinesh Bhatia. The agreement was also witnessed by minister of parliamentary affairs, coal, and mines Pralhad Joshi, and Mines secretary VL Kantha Rao.
“This is a historic day for both India and Argentina as we are scripting a new chapter in bilateral ties with the Agreement signing between KABIL and CAMYEN’, a step which will not only play a crucial role in driving the energy transition for sustainable future, but also ensure a resilient and diversified supply chain for critical and strategic minerals essential for various industries in India,” coal and mines minister Pralhad Joshi said.
Under this groundbreaking agreement, KABIL will commence exploration and development on five lithium brine blocks, namely Cortadera-I, Cortadera-VII, Cortadera-VIII, Cateo-2022-01810132, and Cortadera-VI, spanning an area of about 15,703 hectares. Additionally, KABIL is set to establish a branch office in Catamarca, bolstering its operational presence in the region.
“With this agreement, KABIL has received exploration and exclusivity rights for five blocks to evaluate, prospect and explore and subsequent to existence, discovery of lithium mineral, exploitation right for commercial production,” the mines ministry said in a statement.
“This will not only boost its quest for sourcing lithium for India but will also help in bringing in technical & operational experience for Brine type lithium exploration, exploitation and extraction,” it added.
Argentina is part of the “Lithium Triangle” along with Chile and Bolivia with more than half of the world’s total lithium resources and having the distinction of having 2nd largest lithium resources, 3rd largest lithium reserves and 4th largest production in the world.
This strategic move not only strengthens the bilateral ties between India and Argentina but also contributes to the sustainable development of the mining sector, ensuring a resilient and diversified supply chain for critical and strategic minerals essential for various industries.