Preliminary survey shows deposits of lithium in Mandya district of Karnataka

New Delhi, February 5, 2021

The Government has said that preliminary surveys on the surface and limited sub-surface by Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent unit of the Department of Atomic Energy, has shown the presence of lithium resources of 1,600 tonnes (inferred category) in the pegmatites of Marlagalla-Allapatna area in Mandya district of Karnataka.

Union Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Thursday that lithium is a key element for new technologies and finds its use in ceramics, glass, telecommunication and aerospace industries.

The well-known uses of lithium are in lithium-ion batteries, lubricating grease, high energy additive to rocket propellants, optical modulators for mobile phones and as convertor to tritium used as a raw material for thermonuclear reactions i.e. fusion.

The thermonuclear application makes lithium as “Prescribed substance” under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 which permits AMD for exploration of lithium in various geological domains of the country, the Minister said.

Due to the continuously increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries, the requirement of lithium has increased over the last few years.

The significance and quantity of lithium resources in Marlagalla-Allapatna area can be established only after the completion of exploration in the entire area. Subsequently, a plan for the commercial exploitation of the lithium deposits can commence after the technical, social and economic feasibility studies in the area, the Minister added.

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