Lithium is increasingly viewed as a pivotal mineral for realizing global ambitions of zero-carbon green energy in the upcoming years.
Jharkhand, once known for exporting mica globally, is back in the spotlight due to its lithium reserves – a crucial mineral for the nation’s energy strategies. Lithium is gaining global recognition as a transformative mineral essential for pursuing zero-carbon green energy in the forthcoming years.
The discovery of significant mineral reserves in the state opens up vast opportunities for India’s battery-powered electric vehicle sector. Beyond electric vehicles, lithium plays a role in medical devices, the electronics sector, mobile phones, solar panels, wind turbines, and other green technologies. The National Mineral Exploration Trust’s geological survey revealed that places like Koderma and Giridih in Jharkhand have abundant reserves of lithium and other rare minerals. Recent Geological Survey of India findings pinpointed lithium reserves of 1,600 tonnes in Karnataka and 59 lakh tonnes in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district.
Presently, exploration and extraction efforts for lithium in Jharkhand are expanding to regions like East Singhbhum and Hazaribagh beyond Koderma and Giridih. Geochemical studies in the Tilaiya block of the Koderma district uncovered rich deposits of lithium, caesium, and other minerals.
At the moment, India’s burgeoning electric vehicle industry relies heavily on lithium imports, predominantly from China. With a vision to achieve 30% EV adoption by 2030, the Central government identifies lithium as pivotal. Consequently, the exploration of lithium reserves received significant attention.
After notable discoveries in Karnataka, Jammu, and Kashmir, Jharkhand’s lithium reserves are deemed crucial for the future. GSI’s investigations indicate the potential presence of metals like Li, Cesium, REE, and RM in areas like the Tilaiya block of Koderma and the Dhodhakola-Kusuma belt in Jharkhand.
The Jharkhand Government’s Geological Council convened a high-level meeting on September 29 to discuss this. Investors have begun showing interest in the state government exploring lithium mining prospects. In June, Paul Lock, the Chairman and Managing Director of Pan Asia Metals Ltd, met with Jharkhand’s Chief Minister, Hemant Soren, to discuss potential investments in Jharkhand’s lithium mining sector. Chief Minister Soren emphasized the state’s commitment to exploring lithium production in compliance with regulations.
Experts suggest that if India achieves self-sufficiency in lithium production, the costs of electric batteries and electric vehicles will drop.