LITHIUM RESERVES (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     25th December 2023        

Context: India is close to striking a deal on acquiring five lithium blocks for exploration and development in Argentina with the negotiations entering final stages.

Lithium Reserves

  • Lithium Reserves in India: A preliminary survey in Southern Karnataka's Mandya district estimated lithium reserves of 14,100 tonnes. 
  • Other potential Sites: Mica belts in Rajasthan, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, pegmatite belts in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, and Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.
  • Major Global Lithium Reserves: Chile > Australia > Argentina are the top countries with Li reserves.
  • Lithium Triangle: Chile, Argentina, Bolivia.
  • INDIA'S LITHIUM EXPEDITION: India is dependent on China for lithium imports,total imports in FY23were roughly $3 bn.

Applications of Lithium

  • Lithium-Ion Batteries: Lithium's most well-known application is in rechargeable and lightweight lithium-ion batteries that power electronic devices, ranging from cell phones to laptops.
  • These batteries enable the storage of renewable energy from sources like solar and wind, power electric vehicles, and promote development through access to energy.
  • Other Uses: Lithium finds applications in pharmaceuticals, glass and ceramics production, aerospace and military industries for temperature control, and high-temperature lubricating greases.