The Geological Survey of India has for the first time established Lithium inferred resources (G3) of 5.9 million tonnes in Salal-Haimana area of Reasi District of Jammu & Kashmir (UT) in northern India. If realized with a higher degree of confidence, resources of that level would rank among the world’s largest.
However, according to the United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Resources (UNFC), category G3 is applied for coal, uranium and other solid minerals to describe the prospecting stage or to describe inferred resources for petroleum discovery. A great deal more research will be required to determine available tonnage, how much can be extracted, and the quality of the resource.
Further, observes the Peterson Institute of International Economics:
India must address the challenge of tapping this resource in its most politically volatile region, which has been contested in a succession of wars and violent skirmishes between India and Pakistan since they won independence from Great Britain in 1947. Large resource discoveries in “peripheral” regions far from the capital and locus of government power are often politically destabilizing, especially when those resources are discovered in areas dominated by ethnic or religious groups that face significant discrimination.
This report along with 15 other resource bearing geological reports (G2 & G3 stage) and 35 Geological memoranda were handed over to respective state governments during the 62nd Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) meeting held on 9 February 2023.
Out of these 51 mineral blocks, 5 blocks pertain to gold and other blocks pertain to commodities such as potash, molybdenum, base metals etc. spread across 11 states of Jammu & Kashmir (UT), Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. The blocks were prepared based on the work carried out by GSI from field seasons 2018-19 to date.
Apart from these, 17 reports of coal and lignite with a total resource of 7,897 million tones were also handed over to Ministry of Coal.