Discovery of lithium deposits in J&K to cut dependence on imports

The find will serve as a major boost to the manufacture of rechargeable batteries for smartphones, laptops and electric cars in the country

Updated - February 12, 2023 05:27 am IST

Published - February 10, 2023 09:38 pm IST - Srinagar

Lithium is used in rechargeable batteries.

Lithium is used in rechargeable batteries. | Photo Credit: File photo

The discovery of 5.9 million tonnes of lithium resources in Jammu and Kashmir, a first for India, would reduce the need for imports and improve employment opportunities, officials in the Union Territory said on Friday, adding that the find was a major boost to the manufacture of rechargeable batteries for smartphones, laptops and electric cars.

The lithium inferred resources have been established in Reasi district. “There was a presence of bauxite in composite form and during its processing lithium was also discovered. We had explored it earlier also but now this time it has been approved by the Geological Survey of India (GSI),” said Shafiq Ahmad, District Mineral Officer, Reasi. The mineral blocks are likely to be auctioned after sanction from the Central government.

The GSI had said on Thursday that lithium inferred resources had been found in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi. An official said the geological reports on reaching the G2 and G3 stages of exploration were discussed during the 62nd Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) meeting held in New Delhi on Thursday.

Around 51 mineral blocks have been identified across the country, including J&K, based on the work carried out by the GSI from field seasons 2018-19 till date.

Residents of Salal expressed their delight after the news of the discovery spread. “Surveyors from the GSI have been visiting and taking samples from Salal area in the past two years. Finally, we get to hear the good news. It will go a long way in addressing unemployment issues here,” Rajinder Singh, a local Naib Sarpanch, said.

Earlier, the Mines ministry had said that to strengthen the critical mineral supply chain for emerging technologies, the government was taking several measures to secure minerals, including lithium, from Australia and Argentina. Currently, India is import-dependent for many minerals like lithium, nickel and cobalt.

(With PTI inputs)

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