India’s northern federal territory of Jammu and Kashmir is to auction off a 5.9 million tonne reserve of lithium discovered in the area last month.
Making the announcement in parliament on Monday, the country’s mines minister Pralhad Joshi said: “The exploitation of lithium will depend upon successful auction of the mineral block.”
The block is the first known reserve found in the country of the key ingredient for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Its discovery in India comes at a time when the country is looking to strengthen its supply of critical minerals, including lithium, that will be crucial for furthering its EV plans.
India has so far depended mostly on imports for key EV battery minerals like lithium, nickel and cobalt.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara