Reasi : Locals at the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi district on Friday exuded optimism after Lithium deposits were found for the first time in the country, in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to ANI, Rajendra Singh, a panchayat member, said, "The survey team after conducting the exercise over almost two years. They used to bring the entire machinery (for survey) by road. The team identified almost 100 points where Lithium can be found. The survey report was sent to Lucknow and finally, the good news was shared with the people here. The locals have welcomed the news as it would offer great employment opportunities for them." "It is the second biggest employment opportunity for the Reasi district. The first was when the NHPC project was developed. This opportunity is equally significant, I must say. Unemployment will end to a large extent," he added.
Another local from Salal said, "I watched in disbelief as television channels played news of the lithium discovery in the Salal region. We are delighted and extremely lucky. This is huge. The people of Salal have a bright future now. I am confident that unemployment in the region will be reduced."
"The lithium was earlier imported from different countries but now Salal will provide it. We wish to thank PM Modi and the central government for this. We are very proud," the local added.
District Magistrate (DM) Babila Rakwal told ANI, "I was told that the Geological Survey of India (GIS) conducted this survey over the last five to six years. This is, indeed, big news for the country. At a time when we are increasingly talking about Lithium batteries in electric cars, laptops and mobile phones, the discovery and extraction of lithium in our country is of immense significance."
"I have been informed that the lithium block was found in the Chubbi area. Whenever the central government sanctions this major mineral for extraction, an auction shall be done," the DM added.
The Union government on Thursday said 5.9 million tonnes of lithium reserves were found, for the first time in the country, in Jammu and Kashmir.
Lithium is a non-ferrous metal and one of the key components in EV batteries.
"Geological Survey of India for the first time established Lithium inferred resources (G3) of 5.9 million tonnes in the Salal-Haimana area of the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir," the Ministry of Mines said in a statement on Thursday.
It informed further that 51 mineral blocks, including of Lithium and Gold, were handed over to respective state governments.
"Out of these 51 mineral blocks, 5 blocks pertain to gold and other blocks pertain to commodities like potash, molybdenum, base metals etc. spread across 11 states of Jammu and Kashmir (UT), Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana," the ministry added.
The blocks were prepared based on the work carried out by GSI from field seasons 2018-19 till date.