A joint venture of state-run miners signed India’s first overseas lithium exploration and mining deal in Argentina this week, setting off New Delhi’s global hunt for the crucial mineral that constitutes the core element in electric vehicle battery technology.
Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL), a joint venture between National Aluminium Co. Ltd, Hindustan Copper Ltd and Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Ltd, signed the $24 million deal for five blocks with Argentina’s state-owned Catamarca Minera Y Energetica (Camyen).
“The deal will not only play a crucial role in driving the energy transition for sustainable future, but also ensure a resilient and diversified supply chain for critical and strategic minerals essential for various industries,” mines minister Pralhad Joshi said.
KABIL will explore and develop five lithium brine blocks spanning 15,703 ha in the Catamarca province of northwestern Argentina. KABIL was set up in 2019 to source strategic minerals such as cobalt and lithium from abroad.
“The deal will strengthen bilateral ties, and open doors to decades of innovation, growth, and technological advancements in mining,” Franco Senilliani, commercial head at the Argentinian embassy in New Delhi, said.
Senilliani said some private miners in both countries are exploring similar deals in future, but did not disclose further details.
Argentina, part of the resource-rich ‘Lithium Triangle’ which also includes Chile and Bolivia, is critical for India, a country largely dependent on lithium imports from Chile, Russia, and China.
Loading the player...
Understanding the climate crisis with Marina Romanello
More Top Stories:
India’s demographic dividend will help boost Europe trade: Goyal