As per analytics consultant, Global Data, the global demand for lithium is expected to be more than double at 117,400 mt by 2024 from an estimated 47,300 mt in 2020 due to likely increase in electric vehicle battery production.
The quantity and value of export and import by India of Lithium-ion and Lithium (primary cells and batteries) during 2019-20 and 2020-21 are given in Annexure. The Government on 12.5.2021 has approved the Production Linked Scheme (PLI) for manufacturing of Advance Chemistry Cell (ACC) in the country.
The total outlay of the scheme is Rs.18,100 crore for five years. The scheme envisages establishing a competitive ACC battery manufacturing set up in the country (50 Giga Watt hour-GWh). Additionally, 5 GWh of niche ACC technologies is also covered under the scheme.
The scheme proposes a production linked subsidy based on applicable subsidy per KWh and percentage of value addition achieved on actual sales made by the manufacturers who set up production units. The PLI scheme will facilitate reduction of import dependence of ACC battery, which is imported presently.
As per the approved annual Field Season Programme (FSP), the Geological Survey of India (GSI), an attached office of Ministry of Mines, takes up different stages of mineral exploration every year viz. reconnaissance surveys (G4), preliminary exploration (G3) and general exploration (G2) following the guidelines of the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC) and the Mineral Evidence and Mineral Content Rules (MEMC-2015) for augmenting mineral resource for various mineral commodities including Lithium.
During FSP 2016- 17 to FSP 2020-21, GSI carried out 14 projects on Lithium and associated elements in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Karnataka and Rajasthan. During the current FSP 2021-22, GSI has taken up 7 projects on Lithium in Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Rajasthan. However, resource of Lithium has not yet been augmented by GSI.
Further, Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent unit of the Department Atomic Energy (DAE), is carrying out exploration for Lithium in potential geological domains in parts of Karnataka and Rajasthan.
AMD is carrying out subsurface exploration in Marlagalla area, Mandya district, Karnataka. Reconnaissance surveys have also been carried out along Saraswati River palaeo channel, in Jodhpur and Barmer districts of Rajasthan for locating Lithium mineralization associated with brine (saline water in salt lakes). Preliminary surveys on surface and limited subsurface exploration by AMD have shown presence of Lithium resources of 1,600 tonnes (inferred category) in the pegmatites of Marlagalla – Allapatna area, Mandya district, Karnataka.