India is considering unlocking its lithium resources, a key ingredient for batteries used for electric vehicles and energy storage, to achieve more self-sufficiency in green technologies, reported Bloomberg News.
A proposal has been drafted that includes amendments to the existing policies to allow lithium extraction by private miners, the publication reported citing people privy to the development.
The government is awaiting clearance from lawmakers for the revisions in the current session of parliament.
Under the proposed amendments, eight minerals, including beryllium, lithium, and zirconium, could be eliminated from the list of minerals that currently restricts production by private companies.
Subject to approval for the amendments, the government will undertake auction permits to exploit lithium reserves in the country, the people said.
The move is expected to help India reduce its dependence on some of the key minerals’ imports.
India is also looking to boost local manufacturing of zero-emissions solutions to support its 2070 target for carbon neutrality.
The installation of huge volumes of battery storage capacity is considered key to enabling renewables’ use round-the-clock to achieve India’s target to have 500GW of installed clean power capacity by 2030.
According to the Indian Mines Ministry, the government agencies made small discovery of lithium resource at a site in Karnataka.
However, the country is required to find and develop further lithium deposits to enable production at larger scale.
The country is also exploring lithium and cobalt assets overseas.