Lithium reserves found in Mandya Karnataka

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Posted: April 11, 2020,

India’s Atomic Energy Commission recently announced that they’ve discovered Lithium reserves near Mandya, Karnataka that might yield 14,000 tonnes of Lithium. The exact location is around the villages of Allapatna & Marlagalla, as can be seen from the map below.

 

How big of a deal is this? 14,000 tonnes is not much considering that global Lithium reserves are about 35 million tonnes. We are currently importing about US$1 billion worth of Lithium from the likes of Chile & Argentina. But let’s see what we can do with this much of Lithium:

Estimating Lithium consumption for electric cars:

A mid range electric car such as Tata Nexon or Hyundai Kona uses a 35 KWh battery pack that requires 6 Kg of Lithium. An electric bike on the other hand uses a 2.5 KWh battery.

There were 4,00,000 2/3 wheeler & 5,000 (yeah, you read that correct!) cars sold in the EV segment in India last year. The segment is expected to grow at a growth rate of 40% each year until 2030.

Estimating Lithium consumption for storage (residential/commercial/grid) battery consumption:

According to this article, storage batteries are expected to grow from 24 GWh in 2018 to 270 GWh by 2025. This means a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41%. Assume the same growth rate till 2030

 

Taking these numbers, we derive that the 14,000 tonnes of Lithium would last us for the next 9 years. Which is not a lot, but still large enough making it worth harnessing & might give us a cost advantage to further reduce the prices of electric vehicles & Li-ion batteries. See the below project graph & tables for more detailed calculations.

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