Coal India plans to enter into mining of critical minerals, including lithium
New Delhi: Maharatna coal PSU Coal India Ltd (CIL) is mulling entering into the mining of critical minerals, including lithium, an official said. CIL plans to get a block from the government for exploration and once lithium reserves are proved, the PSU would go for mining, the official said.
Lithium is the 'cosmic' mineral which is needed as part of the country's energy security plans. It is being seen as a game-changer mineral to achieve the Net Zero goals in the coming years.
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"We will take one block from Government of India and do exploration and once lithium is proved then we can go for mining," Coal India Director (Technical) B Veera Reddy told reporters here.
Reddy also holds the additional charge of Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Central Coalfields Ltd.
Coal India's core business is mining, he said and exuded confidence that the PSU will definitely be successful in the mining of critical minerals.
"We have expertise in coal mining and we can divert all our resources for mining of critical minerals," he explained.
Stating that critical minerals are very important, Reddy stressed that in India, there is a lot of scope for exploration but it is not done properly.
CIL accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal production.
Apart from electric vehicles, lithium is used in medical technology, electronics industry, mobile phones, solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable technologies.
Last year, Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi launched the auction of 20 critical minerals worth Rs 45,000 crore.
Of the 20 minerals put on sale, two are lithium blocks.
One of the lithium blocks is in Jammu & Kashmir, while the other is in Chhattisgarh.