Rare Lithium Reserves Discovered Near Bengaluru, Electric Vehicles And Phones Could Get Cheaper
Electronics & Gadgets  

India has just started to embrace the electric vehicle revolution, but with heavy vehicle costs and inaccessible charging infrastructures, the shift is not as easy. However, today researchers have discovered reserves of lithium in Mandya -- around 100 kilometres from Bengaluru.


In case you didn’t know, lithium is crucial for the development of batteries that power not just electric cars but also our smartphones. Researchers at the Atomic Minerals Directorate, a unit of India’s Atomic Energy Commission have estimated lithium reserves of 14,100 tonnes in the aforementioned location in the state of Karnataka.
N Munichandraiah, Emeritus Professor at Indian Institute of Science says, “ The present data provides a total estimation of available Li20 as about 30,300 tonnes over an area of 0.5 km x 5km, which works out to about 14,100 tonnes of lithium metal.”
It isn't a lot though
In case you were wondering this is a lot (which it surely is), it is a handful compared to other countries that are currently quenching the thirst for lithium-ion batteries in the world. According to Munichandraiah, “If one compares with 8.6 million tonnes in Chile, 2.8 million tonnes in Australia, 1.7 tonnes in Argentina or 60,000 tonnes in Portugal, 14,000 tonnes isn’t that large."
India's ever-rising thirst for lithium
As of now, all of India’s lithium needs are relying on these countries. Moreover, its imports have actually tripled to $1.2 billion during 2019 all the way from $384 million in 2017. 


According to data shared by Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan in the parliament, until November 2019, India had imported around $929 million of lithium.
Indian Authorities still haven’t set up a comprehensive plan to map local reserves of lithium. India authorities have also set up Khanij Bidesh India Ltd to source and acquire mines in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
While it won’t be able to fully quench the global thirst for lithium, the discovery in Mandya could surely help India bring the prices down for electric vehicles, smartphones and other devices that are powered using lithium-ion batteries and are being made in India. 



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