The Ministry of Mines has announced a significant milestone achieved by Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) by signing an agreement with the state-owned enterprise of Catamarca province of Argentina CATAMARCA MINERA Y ENERGETICA SOCIEDAD DEL ESTADO (CAMYEN SE) on Monday.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Governor of Catamarca Lic Raul Jalil, Vice Governor of Catamarca, Eng. Ruben Dusso and Minister of Mines Catamarca, HE Marcelo Murua and Ambassador of India to Argentina HE Dinesh Bhatia.
The signing ceremony was virtually attended by Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi and Secretary, Ministry of Mines, VL Kantha Rao.
“This is a historic day for both India and Argentina as we are scripting a new chapter in bilateral ties with the Agreement signing between KABIL and CAMYEN – a step which will not only play a crucial role in driving the energy transition for sustainable future, but also ensure a resilient and diversified supply chain for critical and strategic minerals essential for various industries in India,” Mr Joshi said.
This is the first ever lithium exploration and mining project by a government company in India.
KABIL will start exploration and development of 5 lithium brine blocks located in the Catamarca province of Argentina. KABIL is also preparing to set up a branch office at Catamarca. The project cost is about Rs 200 crore.
With this agreement, KABIL has obtained exploration and exclusivity right for 5 blocksto evaluate, prospect and explore and subsequent to existence/discovery of lithium mineral, exploitation right for commercial production.
This will not only boost its quest for sourcing lithium for India but will also help in bringing in technical and operational experience for Brine type lithium exploration, exploitation, and extraction.
Argentina is the part of “Lithium Triangle” along with Chile and Bolivia with more than half of world’s total lithium resources and having the distinction of having second-largest lithium resources, third-largest lithium reserves and fourth-largest production in the world.
This strategic move not only strengthens the bilateral ties between India and Argentina but also contributes to the sustainable development of the mining sector, ensuring a resilient and diversified supply chain for critical and strategic minerals essential for various industries.