Lithium reserves have been traced in Degana (Nagaur) of Rajasthan, according to local government officials.
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) and mining officials claim that the capacity of lithium reserves found here is higher than the lithium reserves found in Jammu and Kashmir recently.
It is claimed 80 per cent of India’s total demand can be met from the find in Rajasthan.
Lithium is the world’s lightest, non-ferrous, metal used in everything from mobile phones and laptops to playing a large role in the shift to electric vehicles which require chargeable batteries made from it.
It is soft enough to be cut with a knife and light enough to float in water.
India at present is completely dependent on expensive foreign supplies of lithium.
Due to the global demand, it is also called ‘White Gold.’ The global value of one ton of lithium is around INR 57.36 lakh.
Lithium reserves in Rajasthan have been found in the same region, the Renvat hill of Degana and its surrounding areas, where tungsten was sourced by the British for wartime supplies during the First World War.
China’s cheap export policy made India’s tungsten economically unviable for most buyers. Eventually, tungsten production ceased in the region and the region became a desert town.
China, which has reserves of 5.1 million tonnes of lithium, continues to have a monopoly in the global market, India sources its lithium from its estranged neighbour as well.
On the Central Government’s behest recently, the GSI survey team came to the region once again to look for tungsten reserves, ending up finding lithium reserves in the area.
The world’s largest lithium reserves of 21 million tonnes are currently in Bolivia. There are large reserves in Argentina, Chile as well, but China’s monopoly remains, which the Degana find may go a ways into breaking for India.
There is a possibility of lithium deposits in some other places in Rajasthan as well, including Barmer, and Jaisalmer. The survey team is expediting the exploration work so that auctions can take place at the earliest.
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