India’s Proactive Move to Secure Critical Minerals for EV Industry: A Strategic Partnership with Australia

India’s venture into Australian lithium mines represents a significant move towards securing a stable supply of critical minerals, essential for the country’s burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) industry.

  1. NMDC’s Lithium Exploration in Australia: NMDC Ltd, an Indian iron ore miner, is actively exploring lithium reserves approximately 200 km off Perth, Australia. NMDC, the majority owner of a mine located in Mt Bevan in Australia, is hoping to commence mining within two years. This effort is part of India’s broader strategy to secure lithium supplies by acquiring overseas mines. This is especially pertinent as India recently discovered its first lithium deposits and is planning to auction a block for mining​​.
  2. India-Australia Trade Agreement Expansion: India and Australia are working towards expanding trade in critical minerals, such as those used in EV batteries, as part of a broader trade pact. This initiative aligns with both countries’ goals to reduce carbon emissions. Critical minerals, space technology, and opportunities in the digital sector are key areas of this planned deal. This agreement builds on a free trade deal signed last year, which was the first between India and a developed country in a decade, aiming to remove duties on a significant portion of exports between the two nations​​.
  3. Joint Investment in Mining Exploration: India has committed to jointly invest $6 million with the Australian government to explore lithium and cobalt mines in Australia. This six-month project involves India’s KABIL, a mining joint venture between National Aluminium Co, Hindustan Copper Ltd, and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd, and Australia’s Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO). The agreement includes provisions for including other Indian state-run firms as investment partners. This move coincides with India offering $2.4 billion in incentives for companies to build battery cells locally for electric vehicles. Additionally, India is exploring strategic mineral mines in Latin American countries like Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile​​.

These developments indicate India’s proactive approach in securing essential raw materials for its EV industry and reducing its carbon footprint through greener initiatives. The collaboration with Australia, a country rich in critical minerals, marks a strategic alignment of mutual economic and environmental interests.



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