India, Australia Collaborates for Key Lithium Deal, Aims to Meet Future Demand for EV Batteries

India and Australia have announced that it is collaborating in a deal which might see Australian lithium used in the foremost Indian refinery to produce battery-grade material for electric cars.

Neometals, an Australian company with an interest in the Mt Marion lithium mine near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, has partnered with Manikaran Power to mutually fund a study into the refinery.

The study is projected to take between 18-and-24 months and could lead to an ultimate investment decision in the first half of the year 2021.

Though an unassertive step towards creating a new business the deal is substantial because it is the first between an Australian and Indian company while most earlier Australian lithium projects have been with Chinese and American companies.

If the India/Australia lithium project continues it will be on a 50/50 joint venture basis with the Australian company providing its skills in mining and early-stage processing of lithium ore, sometimes called spodumene.

The Indian company will take the lead in financing at least half the capital cost as well as securing regulatory approvals, Indian Government subsidies that might be available and site selection.

Chris Reed, CEO, Neometals said the Australian and Indian companies shared a common belief in strong future demand for lithium, driven by the electrification of transports and a shortage of renewable energy.

"Given India's growth projections for electric vehicles and lithium battery manufacturing capacity, this opportunity to partner India's first domestic lithium development and potentially realize value from downstream processing our offtake from Mt Marion is compelling," Reed believed.

Source- Energetica India