Lithium reserves have been discovered in Rajasthan’s Degana following the recent discovery in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi. The newly discovered reserves in Degana are believed to be larger than those found in Jammu and Kashmir and officials claim that they could meet up to 80% of India’s demand for lithium. This is the first time that lithium reserves have been found in Degana.
Previously, only a minor lithium reserve had been discovered in Karnataka, making this the first significant mineral discovery of its kind in India. The discovery has been attributed to the mines ministry’s renewed focus on rare earth metals, as lithium is a crucial component of batteries used in electric vehicles. The government is actively searching for rare metal reserves both domestically and internationally. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) is not the only organization involved in this effort. A consortium of three Public-sector Undertaking companies, including National Aluminium Company, Hindustan Copper, and Mineral Exploration Corp, is also involved in research and development of lithium-ion batteries through recycling, acquisition, and joint manufacturing efforts.
The majority of the world’s lithium reserves are concentrated in the “lithium triangle” of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, with half of the deposits located in these regions. China is the dominant player in the lithium refining industry, controlling 75% of global refining capacity. India’s goal to increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption by 30% by 2030 relies heavily on lithium, as currently, only slightly more than 1% of all vehicle sales in the country are electric. Lithium batteries are the only viable option for EVs due to their high power-to-weight ratio, which allows for a large charge while keeping the vehicle’s weight low. They are also more energy-efficient and perform well in a wide range of temperatures, making them a safer and more reliable choice than other materials.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Rajasthan Chief minister: Ashok Gehlot;
- Rajasthan Capital: Jaipur (Executive Branch);
- Rajasthan Governor: Kalraj Mishra.