The Indian Ministry of Mines has announced that Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) is planning to collaborate with Catamarca-based state mining company Camyen in Argentina.

This collaboration is part of KABIL’s efforts to source strategic minerals from Argentina, Chile and Australia.

KABIL intends to work with companies in Argentina for prospecting two areas with plans to set-up new projects for extraction of lithium.

The Indian company has already signed three separate memoranda of understandings (MoUs) with three Argentina-based companies – CAMYEN, Jujuy Energy and Mining State Company (JEMSE) and YPF.

The three MoUs, that were signed between July and September 2020, aimed to explore various sources of lithium as well as other minerals in Argentina.

Prior to the latest development, CAMYEN, via the Indian Embassy at Buenos Aires, provided details about two lithium projects in October this year. The two prospective locations are la Aguada and El Indio in Catamarca, Argentina.

Apart from Argentina, KABIL is also working to pursue some joint lithium mining projects in Chile.

In March this year, KABIL also signed a MoU with Critical Mineral Office (CMO), under Government of Australia’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISER).

This agreement with detailed collaborative framework was signed to conduct joint due diligence as well joint investment in Australia’s Li & Co mineral assets.

Under the MoU, Australia and India planned to initially provide around $6m of funds for associated due diligence process.

KABIL is a joint venture (JV) between India’s National Aluminium Company (NALCO), Mineral Exploration Corporation (MECL) and Hindustan Copper (HCL).

Established in 2019, the JV was formed for acquisition, sourcing and exploration of 12 strategic minerals, with special focus on cobalt and lithium, from foreign countries to meet domestic demands.