Did you know that India, just in 2019 alone, has imported $1.2billion worth of Lithium powered batteries? In fact, 100 percent of lithium batteries are being imported, which are currently used on smartphones, and electric vehicles.
It looks like this might change soon, as scientists from Atomic Minerals Directorate, a subsidiary of Atomic Energy Commission Govt of India have found out that in Mandya, a neighbor district of Bengaluru has a massive lithium reserve of 14,100 tonnes.
Considering the rapid growth in technology, lithium consumption is expected to rise exponentially in the next few years. However, experts suggest that there is almost minimum to no effort in sourcing local reserves of lithium in India.
This Isn't Much
Compared to the lithium reserve found in other countries like Chile (8.6 million tonnes) and Australia (2.8 million tonnes), the amount of lithium reserve found near Bengaluru is not much. However, considering this discovery, scientist might be able to spot additional lithium reserves in nearby places.
Could Drive Down The Price Of Laptops, Smartphones, And EVs
Having our own lithium reserve will definitely decrease the dependency of lithium and will also save import duties levied by other countries. With an in-house lithium reserve, most of the electronic devices, which are powered by lithium-based batteries will get a price cut, especially smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles. In fact, the battery is one of the most expensive part of an EV.
The present data provide a total estimation of available Li2O as about 30,300 tonnes over an area of 0.5 km x 5 km, which works out to about 14,100 tonnes of lithium metal. But, traces found in Mandya are way too little when compared to major producers. If one compares with 8.6 million tonnes in Chile, 2.8 million tonnes in Australia, 1.7 million tonnes in Argentina or 60,000 tonnes in Portugal, 14,100 tonnes is not that large, said N Munichandraiah, Professor at IISc.