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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Lukewarm Interest in Kashmir’s Lithium Reserves: No White Gold Rush

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In Short:

Geological Survey of India discovered lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir, making India a top 10 country with such resources. Despite high demand, lack of bidders at auction due to unproven reserves, technical know-how, and sensitivity of the area. India needs to invest in extraction, processing, and refining of lithium to be self-reliant. Second attempt at auction may show better results.

Exciting Discovery of Lithium Reserves in Jammu and Kashmir

Hey there! Imagine stumbling upon a hidden treasure that could change the game. Well, that’s exactly what happened when the Geological Survey of India (GSI) revealed the discovery of **lithium reserves** in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi district in Jammu and Kashmir. This groundbreaking find, amounting to 5.9 million tonnes, suddenly placed India among the top 10 countries with lithium reserves.

Intriguing Interest from Industry Giants

The news of this valuable resource stirred up quite a buzz in the industry. Big names like **JSW Group**, **Hindalco Industries**, **Ola Electric**, **Vedanta Group**, and **Shree Cement** were quick to express their interest in developing the lithium reserves. Even State-run **Coal India Ltd** was eyeing this opportunity to diversify beyond coal.

Challenges Faced in Bidding Process

The bidding process, however, faced some challenges. The unproven nature of the reserves, classified under the G3 stage of exploration, deterred many companies from participating. The extensive timeline required to progress from preliminary to detailed exploration stages raised concerns within the mining community.

The Road Ahead for Lithium Mining in India

While the discovery of lithium in Jammu and Kashmir holds immense promise, technical know-how, environmental concerns, and geopolitical factors pose hurdles for the industry. As the demand for lithium continues to soar globally, the quest for sustainable and efficient extraction methods gains significance.

Hope on the Horizon

Despite the initial setbacks in the auction process, the reserves in Reasi were listed again in a subsequent auction. Industry leaders remain optimistic about the potential of **lithium mining** in India, signaling a renewed interest and determination to tap into this valuable resource.

Stay tuned as the saga of Kashmir’s white gold unfolds, paving the way for a promising future in the realm of clean energy and technological innovation.

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