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Shree Cement may bid in lithium auction

7 Dec 2023 , 11:42 AM

Shree Cement is to bid for lithium mining rights as part of a government initiative to safeguard vital minerals output through auctions worth more than $5 billion.

According to reports, the business will seek for the rights to lithium mining blocks in Jammu and Kashmir, the federally governed territory where an estimated 5.9 million tonnes of reserves were discovered in February. According to the source, who asked not to be identified owing to commercial sensitivities, Shree Cement, India's second largest cement business by market capitalization, would also compete for blocks in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh.

The move would be Shree Cement's first foray into mining, and the company has contacted mining specialists in Australia to hammer out issues such as the premium it should include in its proposal, according to the source. In addition, the corporation is seeking expert input on the quality and grade of lithium deposits in Jammu and Kashmir.

If it buys a lithium block there, it will work with an Australian business to put up a refinery, which will cost roughly $600-700 million, according to the source. Last Monday, New Delhi began the first round of its essential minerals auction, which is anticipated to earn 450 billion rupees ($5.4 billion) by February 20.

The initial tranche, which will sell 20 blocks across many locations, is part of a projected sale of 100 blocks. India has been looking at ways to secure supply of lithium, a vital raw ingredient required in the manufacturing of electric car batteries.

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