Eye on #China, #India looks at #lithium reserves in #Argentina, #Chile and #Bolivia
The new company, Khanij Bidesh India Ltd — incorporated in August, 2019 by three state-owned companies, NALCO, Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration Ltd, with a specific mandate to acquire strategic mineral assets such as lithium and cobalt abroad — is also learnt to be exploring options in Chile and Bolivia, two other top lithium-producing countries.
Currently, India is heavily dependent on import of these cells and the move to ink sourcing pacts for lithium is seen as another salvo in the front against China, a key source of both the raw material and cells. India is seen as a late mover as it attempts to enter the lithium value chain, coming at a time when EVs are predicted to be a sector ripe for disruption. And 2021 is likely to be an inflection point for battery technology, with several potential improvements to the Li-ion technology, and alternatives to this tried-and-tested formulation, under advanced stages of commercialization.