Coal India, US Firm to Explore Argentine Lithium
ECONOMY & POLICY

Coal India, US Firm to Explore Argentine Lithium

State-run Coal India Ltd is collaborating with a US company to explore lithium blocks in Argentina, a critical step in securing supplies of the essential battery material, according to an Indian source with direct knowledge of the matter.

This initiative is part of India's participation in the US-led Minerals Security Partnership (MSP), which New Delhi joined last year to ensure a steady supply of minerals necessary to meet its zero-carbon objectives. As part of the MSP, India was invited to engage in 20-25 critical minerals projects, with four already identified by the Indian government.

India and the United States announced their joint investment in a lithium resource project in South America and a rare earths deposit in Africa. These moves aim to diversify critical minerals supply chains, reducing reliance on China for these essential resources.

In a related development, India's state-owned IREL (India) Ltd is exploring the Kangankunde block in Malawi for rare earths. This is one of the critical mineral projects under the MSP that India is pursuing in collaboration with the US.

Additionally, the Indian government has directed miners to investigate critical mineral deposits in Australia's Dubbo region. There are also discussions between India and the US about a critical minerals trade deal. This proposed agreement would prevent the imposition of tariffs between the two countries, akin to a pact the US has with Japan, which grants Japanese automakers broader access to US electric vehicle tax credits.

This bilateral cooperation comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Argentina in February, where he highlighted US interest in investing in critical minerals, particularly lithium. Both Coal India and the federal Ministry of Mines have yet to respond to requests for comments from Reuters.

By actively seeking and securing sources of critical minerals like lithium and rare earths, India aims to fortify its supply chains, crucial for advancing its renewable energy and electric vehicle sectors as part of its broader zero-carbon goals.

State-run Coal India Ltd is collaborating with a US company to explore lithium blocks in Argentina, a critical step in securing supplies of the essential battery material, according to an Indian source with direct knowledge of the matter. This initiative is part of India's participation in the US-led Minerals Security Partnership (MSP), which New Delhi joined last year to ensure a steady supply of minerals necessary to meet its zero-carbon objectives. As part of the MSP, India was invited to engage in 20-25 critical minerals projects, with four already identified by the Indian government. India and the United States announced their joint investment in a lithium resource project in South America and a rare earths deposit in Africa. These moves aim to diversify critical minerals supply chains, reducing reliance on China for these essential resources. In a related development, India's state-owned IREL (India) Ltd is exploring the Kangankunde block in Malawi for rare earths. This is one of the critical mineral projects under the MSP that India is pursuing in collaboration with the US. Additionally, the Indian government has directed miners to investigate critical mineral deposits in Australia's Dubbo region. There are also discussions between India and the US about a critical minerals trade deal. This proposed agreement would prevent the imposition of tariffs between the two countries, akin to a pact the US has with Japan, which grants Japanese automakers broader access to US electric vehicle tax credits. This bilateral cooperation comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Argentina in February, where he highlighted US interest in investing in critical minerals, particularly lithium. Both Coal India and the federal Ministry of Mines have yet to respond to requests for comments from Reuters. By actively seeking and securing sources of critical minerals like lithium and rare earths, India aims to fortify its supply chains, crucial for advancing its renewable energy and electric vehicle sectors as part of its broader zero-carbon goals.

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