Lithium reserve found in Mandya near Bengaluru, Auto News, ET Auto

Lithium is used heavily for making the electrical motor vehicle batteries. Bengaluru: Superior omen for

Lithium is used heavily for building the electric vehicle batteries.
Lithium is used heavily for making the electrical motor vehicle batteries.

Bengaluru: Superior omen for electrical autos?

Reserves of lithium, a scarce metal crucial to make batteries for electrical autos, have been uncovered in Mandya, 100 km from Bengaluru – a discover that ought to increase local manufacturing of EV batteries.

Researchers at the Atomic Minerals Directorate, a device of India’s Atomic Electricity Commission, have estimated lithium reserves of 14,100 tonnes in a little patch of land surveyed in the Southern Karnataka district, according to a paper to be printed in the forthcoming problem of journal Current Science.

“The existing information supplies a overall estimation of accessible Li2O as about thirty,300 tonnes about an spot of .5 km x 5 km, which performs out to about 14,100 tonnes of lithium metal,” stated N Munichandraiah, Emeritus Professor at the Indian Institute of Science and an specialist on battery systems.

But, to set this in standpoint, the lithium discover is little when compared to several big producers. As the professor places it: “If just one compares with eight.6 million tonnes in Chile, 2.eight million tonnes in Australia, million tonnes in Argentina or sixty,000 tonnes in Portugal, 14,100 tonnes is not that substantial.”

Direct creator of the paper, PV Thirupathi, did not respond to mails searching for comment.

India at this time imports all its lithium requirements.

‘Not Sufficient Exploration Effort’

Its imports of lithium batteries tripled to $1.2 billion in FY19 from $384 million in FY17. In the 8 months to November 2019, lithium battery imports stood at $929 million, according to information shared by science & engineering minister Harsh Vardhan in Parliament on February 2.

Experts say whilst India involves lithium for its energy requirements, there has been no complete effort to map local reserves of lithium so significantly.

“We have not explored so significantly whether we have ample reserves of lithium for the reason that of problems of radioactivity,” says Dr Rahul Walawalkar, president of India Electricity Storage Alliance, a grouping that appears to be like at battery systems. “We never know the potential”.

So significantly, in the absence of local mines for lithium, India has set up Khanij Bidesh India to supply and purchase mines in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.