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Lithium Exploration

Lithium Exploration


News: Lithium resources f 5.9 million tonnes was found from Jammu & Kashmir. Lithium was discovered when exploration was underway for two other different minerals limestone and bauxite in the same column and location in the Salal-Haimana area of J&K’s Reasi district.

About the Lithium resources:

  • The recent Lithium was found from the 'Reasi Sersandu – Kherikot –Rahotkot - Darabi' mineral block in J&K are hard rock de- posit type.

  • It is pegged as India’s largest deposit of the white alkali metal.

  • Under the United Nations Framework for Classification for Reserves and Resources of Solid Fuels and Mineral Commodities (UNFC 1997), the stage of prospecting is categorised as 'G4'.

  • Lithium is a vital ingredient of the lithium-ion rechargeable batteries powering electric vehicles, laptops and mobile phones.


Scope of Exploration:

  • The J&K administration will now carry out auction for commercial exploitation, the official said which expected  multiple domestic and interna- tional mining companies are expected to participate in the auction, the official said.


Exploration of Lithium:

  • Lithium is generally produced from two main different deposit types: 

    • brines  

    • hard-rock

Brine Deposits:

  • Brine deposits in South America are extracted by pumping saline brines with high lithium content from beneath the surface and the lithium is concentrated by way of evaporation.

  • Before the brine is sent on to processing facilities for the production of lithium hydroxide.

Hard-rock exploration:

  • In Such deposits like in J&K, the ore is extracted, usually from pegmatite deposits, using conventional mining techniques before it is concentrated by way of crushing, and sep- arated to produce a concentrate. 

  • The primary lithium bearing mineral in this ore is usually spodumene. 

  • The produced spodumene concentrate is then usually sold to lithium hydroxide or carbonate conversion plants, where it is then converted to lithium chemical products. 

  • The  hard-rock producers have lower costs, the price they receive for their final product, usually spodumene concentrate, is sharply lower than that received for lithium carbonate, chloride and hydroxide produced by way of brine operations.


Global Reserves of Lithium:

  • Chile and Bolivia : 20 million metric tonnes

  • Argentina: 17 million tonnes 

  • Australia: 6.3 million tonnes 

  • China: 4.5 million tonnes


India’s Present dependence on Lithium

  • The country currently imports all its lithium needs. 

  • The domestic exploration push, which also includes exploratory work to  extract lithium from the brine pools of Rajasthan and Gujarat and the mica belts of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

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