The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has made another significant discovery of lithium reserves in Rajasthan’s Degana (Nagaur), marking another milestone in India’s journey towards achieving net zero emissions.
This discovery comes just three months after the GSI found 5.9 million tonnes of lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir. While the actual capacity of the reserves has not yet been disclosed, media reports suggest that Rajasthan’s reserves could be even larger than the previous find.
Lithium, also known as the “white gold,” has become a critical metal for India, as the country aims to achieve 30% electric vehicle sales of total new vehicle sales and increase non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
According to Prahalathan Iyer, Chief General Manager – Research & Analysis, India Exim Bank, India’s annual lithium-ion battery market is expected to grow to 116 GWh by FY2030 from 2.6 GWh in FY2021, with electric vehicles accounting for 90% of the overall market.
Although lithium was first discovered in Jammu and Kashmir in 1999, it was not considered a priority metal at the time. With the push towards electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions, lithium has now become the most sought-after material.
Moreover, with the ‘Make in India’ initiative and the discovery of lithium reserves, India can now reduce its dependence on foreign countries and control the fluctuating price of lithium.
China currently dominates the lithium mining and processing industry, but with the discovery of significant lithium reserves in Rajasthan, India is well-positioned to become the third-largest market for electric vehicles in the next four years.
This development not only enables India to meet its domestic requirements but also allows it to supply lithium to other countries, creating a promising future for the country’s electric vehicle industry.
To reduce India’s dependence on neighbouring countries for lithium supply, the GSI has carried out 14 projects on lithium and associated elements in various states across India.
During 2021-22, the GSI has taken up five more projects on lithium and associated minerals. This strategic discovery of lithium reserves in India can help the country achieve its net zero emissions target by accelerating the adoption of green transportation and green energy.