- 1,600 tonnes of lithium reserves were discovered in Mandya, Karnataka in 2021
- The government has been carrying out exploration for lithium in potential geological domains in parts of Yadgir, Karnataka.
After the Indian government’s recent declaration of commercial exploration of lithium reserves in Ladakh, Karnataka is waiting for directives from the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent unit of the Department of Atomic Energy to begin exploring the lithium reserves in Mandya district.
The department had conducted preliminary surveys on the surface and limited subsurface and found a presence of lithium resources of 1,600 tonnes (inferred category) in the pegmatites of Marlagalla – Allapatna area, Mandya district, Karnataka. The information was publicly revealed in February 2021, but no action has been taken.
The reserves have been estimated at 14,100 tonnes in a small patch of land surveyed in Mandya, published in the Current Science journal.
IANS reported that apart from Mandya, AMD has been carrying out exploration for lithium in potential geological domains in parts of the Yadgir district of Karnataka. The report mentioned that if economically viable, lithium exploration will help the country in a big way as the Indian automobile industry is heading towards electric mobility. Currently, India depends on imports to meet its lithium needs.
In 2020, a senior expert at the AMD, Southern Region, at Nagarbhavi in Bengaluru, had told The Hindu that lithium reserves, in minute quantities, have been traced in many places across the country. However, the detailed study and exploration could give new leads to the survey findings.