India has discovered its maiden lithium reserves discovery in the igneous rocks located in the Marlagalla-Allapatna region of Karnataka’s Mandya district. Though the discovery is very small in size in the present and stands at only 1,600 tonnes of lithium, it marks an initial success for the nation’s attempts to domestically mine the metal in India, given the nation presently meets all its lithium demand and needs by means of imports.
The discovery has been made in the preliminary survey of Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), which is an arm of Centre’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). The exploratory work is meanwhile also on to possibly extract lithium from the brine pools of Rajasthan and Gujarat and the mica belts of Odisha and Chhattisgarh. However, it should be noted that Karnataka’s Marlagalla-Allapatna area, along the Nagamangala Schist Belt, is being seen as among the most promising geological domains for potential exploration for lithium and other rare metals. The discovery of lithium reserve in India may sound like a good news, especially for India’s EV industry which has been relying on other countries for EV batteries.The find in Mandya is extremely small in quantitative terms, but it marks some initial success in the attempt to domestically mine the silver-white metal by way of hard-rock extraction of the ore. India currently imports all its lithium needs.