India has pledged to invest $6 million (approximately Rs. 45.3 crore) with the Australian government to explore lithium and cobalt mines in Australia over the next six months, in an effort to increase supplies of key minerals needed to to promote, strengthen its plans for electric vehicles .
India’s KABIL, a mining joint venture between state-owned National Aluminum Co, Hindustan Copper Ltd and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd, has signed a preliminary agreement with Australia’s Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO), the Indian government said on Tuesday.
The move comes at a time when India is offering $2.4 billion (about Rs. 18,150 crore) in incentives for companies to build battery cells for electric vehicles locally. Lithium, whose price has risen in recent days, is an important raw material used to make batteries for electric vehicles.
CMFO and KABIL will conduct “joint due diligence of selected greenfield and brownfield projects to identify lithium and cobalt mineral assets for final joint investment decisions and acquisition,” the Indian government said in a statement.
The agreement also provides for the inclusion of any other Indian state-owned company as an investment partner, and provides for the completion of the due diligence process and further investment decisions to be made over the next six months.
India has also shortlisted Latin American countries such as Argentina, Bolivia and Chile for exploring strategic mineral mines abroad, the statement said.
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