In a move aimed at bolstering its lithium reserves and fostering the development of lithium mining and downstream sectors, India’s state-owned Khanij Bidesh India (KABIL) has inked a significant lithium exploration deal in Argentina. The federal Ministry of Mines announced the deal, valued at 2 billion rupees ($24 million), on Monday.
The exploration pact grants KABIL exclusive rights to explore and develop lithium resources in five blocks in Argentina. Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi, expressing optimism about the project’s impact, stated, “The project will help India strengthen lithium supplies while developing lithium mining and downstream sectors of both the countries.” The move aligns with India’s broader strategy to secure essential minerals from resource-rich nations globally.
India, as one of the world’s leading greenhouse gas emitters, has been actively seeking partnerships to secure key minerals critical for its clean energy initiatives. This includes initiatives in countries like Australia, Argentina, and Chile. The current deal, signed with an Argentinian state-run enterprise, marks a significant milestone for KABIL as it secures exploration and developmental rights for commercial production.
V L Kantha Rao, India’s top bureaucrat in the mining ministry, had previously hinted at the country’s interest in lithium assets, mentioning preliminary discussions with Bolivia in December. The move to diversify and expand lithium sources is crucial for India’s ambitious renewable energy goals and to meet the increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries in various sectors, including electric vehicles.
The exploration deal with Argentina is expected to not only contribute to India’s lithium stockpile but also foster collaboration and technological exchange between the two nations. The lithium mining project is anticipated to play a pivotal role in advancing the clean energy landscape in India and enhancing the country’s position in the global lithium market.
As the demand for lithium continues to surge, KABIL’s strategic move reflects the nation’s commitment to sustainable resource management and the pursuit of a cleaner, greener future through responsible mining practices and international partnerships.