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India to sign MoU with Argentina for mineral resource cooperation

Stock image of Salinas Grandes mine, one of the largest lithium mines in Argentina.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will provide an institutional mechanism for cooperation for mineral resources between India and the Argentine Republic.

An MoU to that effect is to be signed between the Ministry of Mines, the Government of India, and the Secretariat of Mining Policy of the Ministry of Productive Development of the Argentine Republic.

"The objectives of the MoU are to strengthen the activities involved like cooperation for encouraging minerals exploration and development, including extraction, mining, and beneficiation of lithium; possibilities of forming a joint venture in the field of base metals, critical and strategic minerals for mutual benefit," said the official press release from the Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India.

The agreement will also include the exchange of technical and scientific information and interchange of ideas and knowledge, training and capacity building, and promotion of investment and development in the area of mining activities that would serve the objective of innovation.

In early May, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal of the Department of Heavy Industries (DHI) for the implementation of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme 'National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage. The objective of this program is to achieve a manufacturing capacity of 50GWh of ACC and 5GWh of 'niche' ACC, with an outlay of ₹18,000 crore.

Given that raw materials security for cell manufacturing is crucial, the latest MoU could help in meeting India's needs for lithium, necessary for battery manufacturing.

Acquiring raw materials through discoveries in India or assets abroad has been one of the priorities for the Government of India since raw material linkages and policy announcements that focus on building and growing the entire vertical supply chain are the main factors that will pave the way for the battery manufacturing industry.

Author : Shraddha Kakade
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