The Union Government of India announced on Thursday that 5.9 million tonnes of lithium reserves have been discovered in Jammu and Kashmir. This marks the first time that lithium, a critical component in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, has been found in the country. The discovery was made by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) in the Salal-Haimana area of the Reasi district.
The Ministry of Mines stated that the lithium inferred resources (G3) were discovered as part of 51 mineral blocks that were handed over to the respective state governments. These mineral blocks also include gold and other commodities such as potash, molybdenum, and base metals, spread across 11 states in the country, including Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.
In addition to the mineral blocks, 17 reports of coal and lignite with a total resource of 7897 million tonnes were handed over to the Ministry of Coal. During the meeting, the Geological Survey of India also released seven publications on different themes and intervention areas.
The Ministry of Mines stated that the GSI has formulated 115 projects on strategic and critical minerals and 16 projects on fertiliser minerals. The GSI also has 55 programs on geoinformatics, 140 programs on fundamental and multidisciplinary geosciences, and 155 programs for training and institutional capacity building.
The GSI was established in 1851 to find coal deposits for the Railways. Over the years, it has evolved into a repository of geo-science information and has gained international recognition as a geo-scientific organization. Its primary functions include creating and updating national geoscientific information and mineral resource assessment. These objectives are achieved through various methods, including ground surveys, air-borne and marine surveys, mineral prospecting and investigations, multi-disciplinary geoscientific, geo-technical, geo-environmental and natural hazard studies, glaciology, seismo-tectonic study, and fundamental research.
The GSI provides impartial and up-to-date geological expertise and geoscientific information to support policy-making decisions and meet commercial and socio-economic needs. The discovery of lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir has the potential to make India a major player in the global EV battery market and further bolster the country’s already growing economy.
The government’s emphasis on mineral exploration and development is a step towards ensuring the country’s self-sufficiency in critical minerals and reducing its dependence on imports. The discovery of lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir is a promising sign and is expected to encourage further exploration and development of mineral resources in the country.