BIG Blow To China As India Signs Lithium Exploration Deal In Argentina –Explained | Economy News


New Delhi: India has signed the ‘historic’ agreement for lithium exploration and mining project in Argentina, that gives further fillip to the country’s efforts for sourcing lithium.

India’s state-owned firm Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) signed a 2 billion-rupee ($24 million) lithium exploration pact for five blocks in Argentina. Speaking on the occasion, Pralhad Joshi said that “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.”.

The Ministry of Mines said that 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.

This is the first ever lithium exploration and mining project by a Government Company of India.  KABIL will start exploration and development of 5 lithium brine blocks viz 1. Cortadera-I, 2. Cortadera-VII, 3. Cortadera-VIII, 4. Cateo-2022-01810132 and 5. Cortadera-VI covering an area of about 15,703 Hectare, located in the Catamarca province of Argentina.KABIL is also preparing to set up a branch office at Catamarca, Argentina. The project cost is about 200 crores.

With this Agreement, KABIL has obtained Exploration and Exclusivity Right for 5 blocksto evaluate, prospect and explore and subsequent to existence/discovery of lithium mineral, exploitation right for commercial production.  This will not only boost it’s quest for sourcing lithium for India but will also help in bringing in technical & operational experience for Brine type lithium exploration, exploitation and extraction.

Argentina is the part of “Lithium Triangle” along with Chile and Bolivia with more than half of world’s total lithium resources and having the distinction of having 2nd largest lithium resources, 3rd largest lithium reserves and 4th largest production in world.

How India’s Lithium Exploration Deal With Argentina Could Be A Big Blow To China

Amidst rising sentiment for boycotting Chinese products, the strategic move emerges is touted to be a game-changer in reducing India’s dependence on China for crucial minerals. The move can also be seen as significant stride in India’s broader economic offensive against China vis-a-vis the country’s reliance on the latter for critical minerals.  China has over 80% control of the global supply of lithium. Nearly 54% of India’s imports are made from China.

Lithium serves as a cornerstone in India’s ambitious transition to green energy –a vital component in the production of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries essential for powering electric vehicles, laptops, and mobile phones. 

Lithium is crucial for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that powers electric vehicles, laptops and mobile phones. The move can foster the India’s resolve to reduce its carbon footprints and promote sustainable and green energy practices, while at the same time loosen China’s stranglehold on a key element essential for India’s energy transition.

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