Anand Mahindra: India's 'Electrifying Future' Hinges On Lithium Refining Race With China

Anand Mahindra asserts that refining is the most important aspect in the supply chain of a natural resource and acknowledges that China still holds a substantial lead over India in this department — a factor that could be key in determining the country’s reliance on its neighbour for lithium.

What Happened? Acknowledging the recent discovery of significant lithium reserves within the country for the second time in recent months, Mahindra emphasises that this development holds positive implications for India’s future in electrification.

In a tweet, the Mahindra Group chairman calls lithium “the essential natural resource for 21st-century growth.” However, he also warns that refining, not the reserves themselves, is the most crucial aspect of the supply chain, and China still maintains a substantial lead in this area.

“We need to step up quickly to install that capacity,” he states.

Following the discovery of India’s first lithium reserve in Jammu and Kashmir in March 2023, another larger reserve has been found in Rajasthan’s Degana (Nagaur) on Monday, potentially reducing the country’s dependency on China for lithium.

Lithium, a non-ferrous metal used in mobile and laptop batteries, electric vehicles, and other rechargeable devices, is in high demand globally, earning it the nickname “White Gold.”

Government and mining officials claim that the lithium in these reserves could satisfy 80% of India’s total demand. The discovery could end China’s monopoly and boost Rajasthan’s fortunes, similar to the Gulf countries.

As energy transformation accelerates worldwide, the demand for lithium, found in every chargeable electronic and battery-powered device, continues to rise. The global value of one ton of lithium is around ₹57.36 lakh.

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