Is Lithium the new white gold

Lithium the new pronounced white gold? The Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India reported the discovery of 5.9 million tonnes of inferred lithium ore on their Twitter account on 9th February'23. The lithium resources have been discovered in Reasi, at kashmir, India. The government celebrated the discovery as it will help the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” plan.

This deposit alone makes India the fifth-largest lithium reserve in the world. This could be a geopolitical game-changer since lithium is soaring due to its scarcity and surging demand.

What is lithium?

Lithium is one of the most sought minerals globally in the recent past. The element was first discovered in 1817 by Johan August Arfvedson. The metal with the lowest density, lithium, reacts vigorously with water and is toxic in nature.

How can lithium be revolutionary?

Lithium-ion batteries revolutionized electronic communications, computing, and digitization and are now powering the world moving towards clean energy, a much-needed switch from gas-guzzling and carbon-emitting technologies of the past. To achieve net-zero carbon emissions, the world needs lithium. Harmful emissions like Carbon Dioxide and Methane are generated when we burn fossil fuels. We need to cut back on emissions, fossil fuels need to be dumped. Hence, switching to alternatives, like electric cars and renewable energy is crucial.

Is the world is in need of lithium? 

At the current rate of carbon emissions, the world will need at least 2 billion (200 crores) EVs, hence the demand for EVs is increasing rapidly.

Lithium is the lightest metal in the world, so the batteries made from lithium would also not weigh down a car. It can last longer than other batteries and live through multiple cycles.

How does Lithium En-light India?

India needs investments to the tune of Rs 33,750 crore to achieve the government PLI target of setting up 50 GWh of lithium-ion cell and battery manufacturing plants, according to a study. India’s electric vehicle market is expected to hit annual sales of 1 crore units by 2030, according to the Economic Survey 2022-23.

As per industry estimates, the total EV sales in India stood at 10 lakh's units in 2022.

The analysis, as per CEEW, is based on the minimum manufacturing plant capacity (5GWh) allocated under the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.

For a green future, lithium will be as important as oil and gas are today. It’s in India’s strategic interest to secure not just the mineral, but also set up the required cell and battery manufacturing systems.

It will reduce India’s imports in the long run, and power its grid and EV transition.

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