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KABIL to invest ₹211 crore for exploration of lithium blocks in Argentina

Image for representation purposes only. Source: Kseniya Ragozina via Mining.com

India's KABIL (Khanij Bidesh India Ltd) has announced an investment of ₹211 crore ($25.712 million) over a period of five years for exploration stage activities in five lithium blocks located in the Fiambala area of Argentina. 

The state-owned company will be formalizing an exploration and development agreement with CAMYEN, the state-run mining firm in Argentina's Catamarca province, later this month, said the Union minister of mines Pralhad Joshi. 

In June last year, KABIL's board approved the proposals for sealing the agreements with CAMYEN and allocate investments for exploration activities, along with the opening of a branch office in Catamarca. 

"Approval of the Ministry of Mines for the above proposals has also been received in December. As mutually agreed with CAMYEN, the agreement is planned to be signed in January 2024 in Argentina, marking the initiation of KABIL's maiden project," said Joshi.


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KABIL's initial engagement with CAMYEN began in December 2020 by way of an MoU to establish institutional cooperation for the joint development of lithium mining projects. The company's team had identified five brine-type lithium blocks in the Catamarca province of Argentina, following its exploration for potential global collaboration and visits to lithium mines located Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina back in October 2019.

A joint-venture firm involving three public sector enterprises namely NALCO, MECL, and Hindustan Copper Ltd., KABIL was set up in 2019 with a specific objective to ensure a consistent supply of critical and strategic minerals to the Indian domestic market.

The upcoming agreement is expected to mark a significant milestone for India's engagement in lithium exploration and development on the global stage. 


An overview of India's lithium deposits and their geological survey status report

India has identified a game-changer for its clean energy transition with the discovery of lithium deposits in Jammu & Kashmir as well as in Chhattisgarh. This not only excites India, but also holds promise for global energy needs. Initial findings in Mandya, Karnataka, uncovered about 1,600 tons of lithium, with plans for commercial production (PIB, 2021).
Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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