India Secures Lithium Mine Deal in Argentina, Marking First Government Exploration Project

Shubham Dubey
4 Min Read
India Argentina Lithium Deal

A very important lithium mine agreement between India and Argentina has been signed. The Indian company will work for the exploration and development of these blocks. This deal has been signed between India’s government company Khanij Bidesh India Limited, i.e. Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL), and Argentina’s government company Camyen SE.

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This is the first lithium exploration and mining project of an Indian government company. The Ministry of Mines of the Government of India has stated that the project’s total cost, for which the agreement was signed between the two countries on Monday, is Rs 200 crore.

Under this, the government company Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) will develop and mine five mines in the Catamarca province of Argentina. This is considered a big step towards lithium self-sufficiency.

KABIL is also opening an office in the Catamarca province of Argentina, where CAMYEN SE Enterprise also has an office. Approximately 15,703 hectares will be covered, and five lithium brine blocks will be explored.

Indian government company KABIL will find lithium from Argentina and bring it to India. Lithium, known as ‘white gold’, is essential for electric vehicles. Lithium has plenty of energy and is exceptionally light. This is the reason why it is in great demand all over the world. Lithium is used in rechargeable batteries.

Apart from vehicles, lithium is used in batteries of smartphones, laptops and other gadgets. Countries with the largest lithium reserves include Chile, Australia, Bolivia, and Argentina. At present, Argentina has the largest lithium reserves after Chile and Bolivia.

According to a BBC report, China is also continuously making efforts to mine lithium, and in this direction, it made a deal with Bolivia last year for lithium reserves. This was a billion-dollar agreement.

Lithium Reserves In Jammu and Kashmir

In February last year, the Indian government announced that it had found lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir. The government had announced that the Geological Survey of India has discovered vast reserves of 59 lakh tonnes of lithium in Jammu and Kashmir. These reserves have been found in the Reasi district.

Will China’s Tension Increase?

100 per cent of lithium is imported into India. India is currently dependent on China for lithium, and this agreement is being considered a major step taken by the government towards reducing this dependence.

According to Commerce Ministry data, India imported about 54 per cent of lithium from China in 2020-21. India had imported a total of Rs 6 thousand crore that year, of which lithium worth Rs 3500 crore came only from China.

A year after, in 2022-23, lithium-ion batteries worth $ 2.8 billion, i.e. about Rs 23,000 crore, were purchased from other countries. Also, 95 per cent of lithium-ion batteries were purchased from China and Hong Kong alone.

Regarding this deal, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said we are writing a new chapter in bilateral relations. This agreement will play an important role in the energy transition for a sustainable future.

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By Shubham Dubey Journalist and Social Media Manager
Shubham is responsible for managing News Waker's social media accounts. He creates and schedules content, responds to followers, and analyzes social media metrics to improve engagement.