KABIL Signs Historic Lithium Exploration Agreement in Argentina

  • 17 Jan 2024

Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL), a government-owned entity, takes a significant step in strengthening mineral supply chains by signing a groundbreaking Lithium exploration agreement with Argentina's Catamarca province enterprise, CAMYEN SE.

Key Points

  • First-Ever Indian Government Exploration Project: KABIL's agreement with CAMYEN SE marks the pioneering foray of an Indian government-owned company into a Lithium exploration and mining project, signifying a strategic move for mineral security.
  • Lithium Brine Block Exploration: KABIL initiates exploration and development activities in 5 lithium brine blocks, covering approximately 15,703 hectares in Argentina's Catamarca province. The blocks include Cortadera-I, Cortadera-VII, Cortadera-VIII, Cateo-2022-01810132, and Cortadera-VI.
  • Branch Office Establishment: KABIL plans to establish a branch office in Catamarca, Argentina, with an allocated project cost of ₹200 crores, demonstrating a commitment to long-term engagement and operational presence.
  • Exploration and Exclusivity Rights: Through the agreement, KABIL secures exploration and exclusivity rights for the 5 lithium blocks, encompassing evaluation, prospecting, exploration, and, upon the discovery of lithium minerals, the right to commercially exploit the mines.
  • Argentina's Lithium Dominance: Argentina, part of the "Lithium Triangle" with Chile and Bolivia, possesses over half of the world's lithium resources. It ranks 2nd in lithium resources, 3rd in reserves, and 4th in global production.
  • Boosting Lithium Sourcing: The government anticipates that the agreement will enhance its lithium sourcing efforts while importing technical and operational expertise in brine-type lithium exploration, exploitation, and extraction.
  • Resilient Supply Chain Development: The Mines Ministry characterizes the development as a crucial step towards establishing a resilient and diversified supply chain for critical and strategic minerals essential to various industries in India.