Indian state-run mining company Coal India, along with a US company, is exploring lithium assets in Argentina to secure supplies of the battery material, Reuters reported, citing a source who is aware of the matter.

This initiative is part of New Delhi’s efforts to ensure it has sufficient mineral supplies to satisfy zero-carbon targets. The move is a result of India’s participation in the US-led Mineral Security Partnership (MSP).

The source was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Coal India has come forward for the Kachi block in Argentina in which a US company and two other countries are interested to explore under the MSP.”

India joined the MSP last year, aiming to strengthen global supply chains for critical minerals.

The country is taking significant steps to secure lithium supplies, a vital component of electric vehicle batteries, through a partnership with an undisclosed US company.

This initiative is part of India’s strategy to diversify its critical mineral supply chains and reduce reliance on China, according to previous Reuters report.

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Earlier this week, India and the US have further solidified their partnership by co-investing in a lithium resource project in South America and a rare earths deposit in Africa.

India’s proactive approach includes engaging in discussions with various countries, including the US, to establish collaborations in lithium processing.

Last year, the Indian Government identified lithium as one of the 30 critical minerals necessary for the transition to clean energy.

In May this year, Reuters reported that Coal India and National Mineral Development (NMDC) are exploring lithium mine opportunities overseas, citing Indian Mines Secretary V L Kantha Rao.

The two companies are focused on Chile and Australia for opportunities.

In addition to Coal India and NMDC, the Indian Ministry is also encouraging other state enterprises such as ONGC Videsh to seek out critical minerals abroad.

India also planned to send a delegation to Zambia to discuss joint exploration ventures with the Zambian Government.