In an effort to boost its lithium reserves and promote the growth of lithium mining and downstream sectors, the Indian state-owned company Khanij Bidesh India (KABIL) has entered into a significant lithium exploration agreement in Argentina. The deal, valued at 2 bln rupees ($24 mln), was announced by the federal Ministry of Mines on Monday.
Under the exploration pact, KABIL has been granted exclusive rights to explore and develop lithium resources in five blocks in Argentina. Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi, expressing optimism about the project’s potential impact, stated, “The project will help India strengthen lithium supplies while developing lithium mining and downstream sectors of both the countries.” This move aligns with India’s broader strategy to secure crucial minerals from resource-rich nations globally.
As one of the world’s leading greenhouse gas emitters, India has actively sought partnerships to secure essential minerals for its clean energy initiatives. This includes initiatives in countries like Australia, Argentina, and Chile. The current agreement, signed with an Argentinian state-run enterprise, is 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 indicated the country’s interest in lithium assets, mentioning preliminary discussions with Bolivia in December. Diversifying and expanding lithium sources is crucial for India’s ambitious renewable energy goals and meeting the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries in various sectors, including electric vehicles.
The exploration deal with Argentina is expected to contribute not only to India’s lithium stockpile but also to 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 rise, 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.