Ranchi: Jharkhand, which used to export mica to the world, is again in the news…this time for reserves of lithium – the “cosmic” mineral which is needed as part of country’s energy security plans.
Lithium is being seen as a gamechanger mineral to achieve the goals of zero carbon green energy in the coming years all over the world.
Large reserves of precious mineral in the state have also created immense possibilities for the battery-based electric vehicle industry in the country.
Apart from electric vehicles, lithium is used in medical technology, electronics industry, mobile phones, solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable technologies.
In a geological survey, the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) has found that Koderma and Giridih in Jharkhand have large reserves of many rare minerals besides lithium.
Recently, Geological Survey of India had found reserves of 1600 tonnes of lithium in Karnataka and 59 lakh tonnes of lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir’ Reasi district.
Now, apart from Koderma, Giridih in Jharkhand, work is underway on the possibilities of extraction of lithium in East Singhbhum and Hazaribagh.
Geochemical mapping in and around Tilaiya block of Koderma district of Jharkhand has revealed high concentrations of lithium, cesium and other minerals.
Currently, the country’s electric vehicle industry is still completely dependent on imports for its lithium requirements. Currently lithium is imported mainly from China.
The Central government has set a target to increase EV adoption by 30 per cent by 2030.
Lithium is the most essential mineral to achieve this goal. Therefore, the government has special focus on the possibilities of exploration of lithium.
After Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir, lithium reserves in Jharkhand are being considered very important from the future point of view.
According to the survey of GSI, apart from Lithium in Tilaiya block of Koderma and Dhodhakola-Kusuma belt of Jharkhand, there is a possibility of reserves of metals like Li (Li), Cesium, REE and RM in Gawan block of Giridih and Pihra belt of Koderma.
On September 29, a high-level meeting of the Geological Council of the Government of Jharkhand was held on the matter.
The government has started working on the possibilities of lithium mining in the state and investors have also evinced interest in it.
In June, Pan Asia Metals Ltd Chairman-cum-Managing Director Paul Lock had met Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and discussed the possibilities of investment in the field of lithium mining in the state.
Soren had said the state government will work in a planned manner on the possibilities of lithium production as per the rules.
According to experts, if India becomes self-sufficient in lithium production, then electric batteries will become cheaper and ultimately the price of electric cars will also reduce.