Lithium – UPSC Prelims

  • Lithium is a silver-white alkali metal.
  • Lithium is a key element for new technologies and finds its use in ceramics, glass, telecommunication and aerospace industries.
  • The thermonuclear application makes Lithium as “Prescribed substance” under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 which permits Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD) for exploration of Lithium in various geological domains of the country.
  • AMD confirmed that exploration efforts have so far established ~1600 tonnes lithium in inferred category (low level of confidence) in Allapatna – Marlagalla sector in Srirangapatna taluk, Mandya district, Karnataka.
  • Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent unit of Department of Atomic Energy and Geological Survey of India are two agencies which are involved in mineral exploration.
  • Currently, India is heavily dependent on import of lithium cells and China, Hong Kong and Vietnam are the top three nations exporting batteries to India.
Recent efforts to tap Lithium Reserves overseas:
  • India inked a pact with an Argentina to jointly prospect lithium as Argentina has the third largest reserves of lithium.
  • India is also exploring options in Chile and Bolivia, two other top lithium-producing countries.
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