According to Geological Survey of India, a ‘preliminary exploration’ i.e. G3 stage mineral exploration project on Bauxite, Rare Earth Elements and Lithium in SalalHaimna areas of Reasi District was carried out during FS 2020-21 & 2021-22. The GSI has confirmed an inferred resource (G3) of 5.9 million tonnes of lithium ore.
As per the government, the processing and refining methods for lithium ore can vary depending on the type of lithium deposit, the characteristics of the ore, and the intended end-use of the lithium compounds.
It said India is capable of developing technologies for beneficiation of lithium ore to lithium mineral concentrate. Successful experimentation has been done for extraction of lithium from mineral concentrate in laboratory scale.
The decision regarding auctioning of the Lithium mineral block in Reasi will be taken up by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir as on date, it said.
So far, the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research under Department of Atomic Energy has established 1600 tonnes (inferred category) lithium resource in Marlagalla area, Mandya District, Karnataka. This is a preliminary estimate and since then, exploration inputs by AMDER are focused to convert the preliminary estimate to exploitable category and higher degree of confidence and to augment lithium resource in the adjoining extension areas.
According to the concerned ministry, 5.9 million tonnes of lithium reserves have been found in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi.
Lithium is rare as it makes up just 0.002 percent of the Earth’s crust. It doesn’t occur naturally in its metallic form as it is highly reactive to the elements and minerals around it, experts say. Rather, it is found in a crystalline form alongside rocks and other mineral deposits in the Earth’s crust.
Lithium battery is considered the only alternative for electric cars since it has a high power-to-weight ratio and can deliver a lot of power while keeping the curb weight of the car low. Lithium batteries can power small devices for long periods of time without overheating.
It also works better in a variety of temperatures and is more energy-efficient. It is also a safer and more dependable procedure than others.
Now that the auction is taking place soon as per the government, all measures should be taken that extraction is not the way it will affect the environment. Extraction of any material including lithium results in soil degradation, water shortages, biodiversity loss, and damage to ecosystem functions. Before starting extraction of the lithium, the government is expected to ensure measures including legislative ones to ensure that the environment is protected.