India and Argentina Forge Historic Partnership with Ground-breaking Lithium Exploration Agreement

In a significant leap towards securing a sustainable future and enhancing bilateral ties, the Government of India has inked a ground-breaking agreement with Argentina for a lithium exploration and mining project. This historic deal marks the first-ever involvement of a Government Company of India in such a venture, according to the Ministry of Mines.

The agreement, facilitated between KhanijBidesh India Limited (KABIL) and the state-owned enterprise of Catamarca province in Argentina, CATAMARCA MINERA Y ENERGÉTICA SOCIEDAD DEL ESTADO (CAMYEN SE), opens doors for KABIL to explore and develop five lithium brine blocks. These blocks, namely Cortadera-I, Cortadera-VII, Cortadera-VIII, Cateo-2022-01810132, and Cortadera-VI, span an expansive 15,703 hectares in the Catamarca province.

In a statement, the Ministry of Mines outlined that this venture is a pioneering move for the Government Company, emphasizing the strategic importance of securing a diversified supply chain for critical and strategic minerals essential to various industries in India.

KABIL is set to initiate exploration and development activities in the specified lithium-rich blocks and concurrently establish a branch office in Catamarca, Argentina. The estimated project cost stands at approximately 200 crores.

Union Minister of Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi, lauded the agreement, stating, “This is a historic day for both India and Argentina as we are scripting a new chapter in bilateral ties with the Agreement signing between KABIL and CAMYEN—a step which will not only play a crucial role in driving the energy transition for a sustainable future but also ensure a resilient and diversified supply chain for critical and strategic minerals essential for various industries in India.”

Under the terms of the agreement, KABIL has secured Exploration and Exclusivity Rights for the five blocks, allowing for the evaluation, prospecting, and exploration of lithium minerals. Following the discovery of lithium, the company will be granted exploitation rights for commercial production.

Argentina, known as part of the “Lithium Triangle” along with Chile and Bolivia, boasts more than half of the world’s total lithium resources. It holds the distinction of having the second-largest lithium resources, the third-largest lithium reserves, and the fourth-largest production globally.

This strategic move not only reinforces the bonds between India and Argentina but also contributes significantly to the sustainable development of the mining sector. The collaboration ensures a resilient and diversified supply chain for critical and strategic minerals, essential for various industries as the nation’s move forward in a rapidly evolving global landscape.

(With Inputs from agencies)

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