Energy Security: High-level delegation heads to Chile to explore opportunity for Lithium exploration

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Updated: Sep 05, 2019 6:45 PM

The envoy said that during the proposed visit, the visiting delegation will be interacting with various agencies including Invest Chile and to work together so that it is mutually beneficial for both sides.

Niti Aayog, Khanij Bidesh India Ltd, Chile, Lithium mining, NALCO, ISRO, DRDO, Electric Vehicles, Lithium batteriesLithium is one strategic mineral which India needs in large quantity as it is critical for setting up the lithium-ion battery plants. (Representational image: Reuters photo)

A high-level delegation from Niti Ayog and Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. will be traveling to Chile soon to understand the incentives and the opportunities available for the Indian companies in Lithium mining.

Confirming this, ambassador of Chile to India Juan Angulo Monsalve, said “A delegation is expected to travel to Santiago soon. Dates are being worked out. The purpose of this visit is to understand what kind of reserves are there and various initiatives for investors. ”

The envoy said that during the proposed visit, the visiting delegation will be interacting with various agencies including Invest Chile and to work together so that it is mutually beneficial for both sides.

Earlier this year, President Ramnath Kovind and President Sebastián Piñera had met in Santiago and Lithium was one of the issues on the agenda for talks. Both sides had agreed that more needs to be done in this area.

As has been reported a delegation of Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. had visited the Lithium Triangle countries (Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia). And according to officials, “the visit to Chile is a follow-up visit.” KABIL is a consortium of three state-owned companies created by the Ministry of Mines and has: National Aluminum Company (NALCO), Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd., (MECL).” The main task of this body is to facilitate the process of acquisition of strategic minerals globally and to develop and process them.

Lithium is one strategic mineral which India needs in large quantity as it is critical for setting up the lithium-ion battery plants. These plants are expected to helping in creating batteries for the Electric Vehicles (EVs). For its Energy Security, India has set a target of all EVs on road by 2030. Also, this is required for renewable energy as well as for various programs of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as well as Indian Space Reseach and Development Organisation (ISRO). These batteries and cells are required for medical devices too.

India imports almost 100% of Li-ion batteries or cells. These are in demand and as these have a high energy density, explained and officer. Because of their longevity, these batteries or cells are in big demand universally as they are also used in some health devices, solar panels, and are used in hi-tech military platforms.

In an effort to cut down their dependency on imports of these batteries and cells, efforts are on to have an R&D and Technology Development Facilities where these Lithium batteries can be made in India.

Various automobile companies as well as two Chennai based companies are in the process of setting up manufacturing plants for making these batteries and cells in India.

(The interactive map “Where is Lithium in Chile?” Shows the Locations of Lithium Projects and Lithium Mining Companies active in “Salar de Atacama” and “Salar de Maricunga” in Chile. Also shows the others location of Salars where there could be possibility of Lithium resources in Chile.)

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