The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has cleared the air around reports claiming large lithium reserves being identified in Rajasthan, saying they are "completely baseless and misleading".
"Media reports published in various newspapers regarding the finding of large lithium reserves by the Geological Survey of India (GSI), in Degana area, Nagaur district, Rajasthan are completely baseless and misleading," the GSI said, adding that no such official information was provided neither by regional offices of the GSI or central headquarters.
The organisation said it's carrying out exploration for "tungsten, lithium, and associated rare metals mineralisation" in the Degana area of Nagour district since the year 2019-20. The drilling work is still going on, and findings will be established only after the process completes, said the GSI.
Several media reports said this week that India has found massive lithium reserves in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan. The overall capacity of lithium reserves was claimed to be much higher than around 5.9 million tonnes of crucial metal found in Jammu & Kashmir recently, but the GSI had, however, not revealed the information publically.
In a major breakthrough, the GSI had found 5.9 million tonnes (MT) of lithium in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi District of Jammu & Kashmir in February 2023.
The GSI's findings are currently in the G3 category of initial assessment (Inferred Resources), which means more research and studies are required to reach the final 'confident G1 or G2' category of 'mineable reserves', where the Ministry of Mines can exactly determine how much tonnage is available, how much can be extracted and also determine the quality of the mineral.
The GSI, an attached office under the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Ltd (MECL), has augmented the resources of gold and lithium in the country.
Currently, India is heavily dependent on China for lithium requirements, and imports around half of its overall volume from the neighbouring country. The metal is used in the making of rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles, and in electronic items like smartphones, laptops, among others.
During the last five years, the GSI has carried out 20 projects on lithium and associated elements in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Rajasthan.
The euphoria surrounding lithium is related to the upcoming electrical vehicle (EV) adoption and renewable energy storage happening around the globe. Lithium batteries can provide up to 10 times longer life than lead-acid batteries and are already 50-60% lightweight in comparison, besides with better efficiency. In batteries, lithium is used across cathode chemistries (and potentially next-generation anodes).
Nickel and cobalt are also used in certain cathode chemistries and copper is used for windings and rotors in motors. Currently, these materials account for about 50 percent of a battery’s total cost.