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SRINAGAR: The discovery of Lithium reserves in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir would be a game changer for the country and for the Union Territory.
It would lead to economic development for the people of J&K, officials said.
“The discovery of 5.9 million tonnes of Lithium reserves in Reasi district is the most important discovery in recent times. It means that we are second in the world after Chile. It is a game changer for the country and J&K,” Secretary, Geology and Mining, Amit Sharma told this newspaper.
The reserves have been discovered by Geological Survey of India (GSI) in Salal-Haimana area of Reasi district. It is for the first time that the lithium reserves have been discovered in the country. At present, Chile has world’s largest known lithium reserves at 9.2 million tonnes followed by Australia (5.7 million tonnes), Argentina (2.2 million tonnes), and China (1.5 million tonnes).
Sharma said with the discovery of lithium deposits, India has joined only a select group of countries having lithium reserves. “We have entered a global map of elite nations having lithium deposits”. Lithium is a chemical element used in rechargeable batteries of mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and electric vehicles, etc. It is also known by another name, “white gold”.
“It will take us to self-sufficiency (aatam nirbar bharat), which is the dream of PM Narendra Modi,” Sharma said. He said it will lead to economic development of J&K as the economy will get a big boost. “It will create employment opportunities for the youth and bring in a lot of exchequer”.
Sharma said with India having a G-20 presidency, the discovery will add to the stature of the country. Experts said the cost of mobile phones and electric vehicles would come down once the extraction of the lithium starts.
On concerns that lithium extraction will damage the environment, the official said, “All the precautions and care will be taken during the extraction. The discovery has come about 26 years after the GSI submitted a detailed report about the presence of lithium in Reasi.
Discovery of white gold
Known as white gold, Lithium is a chemical element used in rechargeable batteries of mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and electric vehicles.
Why is it important?
These reserves are rare
The discovery of 5.9 million tonnes of Lithium reserves means that India is the second country in the world with Lithium deposits, after Chile that has 9.2 tonnes
It will be a major boost to the manufacture of rechargeable batteries for smartphones, laptops and electric cars
It would reduce the need for imports and improve employment opportunities