Lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir folds cash as Pakistan watches enviously

Kashmir Lithium. Image credit: Pixaby/Wikimedia Commons

IBNS: The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K UT) cemented its position on the world map this February after the news about its Lithium Reserves broke on the internet.

J&K’s 59 lakh tonnes of Lithium will increase its economic scope unimaginably. Paired with the ongoing developmental works, the future of the Union Territory is limitless. Lithium is a highly reactive metal and can hold immense energy. 

This‘ white gold’ is used to create batteries for electronic devices, vehicles, and solar panels, and can persevere through thousands of recharge cycles. 

These batteries are the ‘new oil’ of the world. As the world is inching towards cleaner energy sources, the discovery of this ‘cosmic’ metal in the Salal-Haimana area of the District Reasi (J&K)is a big deal.

The preliminary survey of the reserve puts India in the seventh position in the world’s lithium reserves. 

Presently the country imports its lithium from Australia, China, and Argentina. From 2018 to 2021 India imported lithium-ion worth more than INR 27,000 crore. 

The locals of Jammu and Kashmir are ecstatic, to say the least. 

After three decades of insurgency, and three years of rebuilding the region from scratch, this news is the light at the end of the tunnel.

Located at the foothills of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, this is the highest quality lithiumin the world. 

District Reasi is also popular for the Chenab Railway Bridge – the highest railway bridge in the world, an archaeological marvel standing 359-meter stall, and 35 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower. 

Additionally, the Salalvillage is also famous for its high-quality sand which has been used in constructing the bridge and other major infrastructure projects. 

It seems the region was sitting on a goldmine! This breaking news comes at a time when our neighboring nation is living on a ventilator, waiting on its donations after carrying a begging bowl for months last year when a devastating flood brought the nation down to its knees. Without wasting time, a small-time terror outfit, People’s Antifascist Front (PAFF), a derivate of Jaish-e-Mohhamed sent an anonymous letter threatening Indian companies that dared to ‘steal’ natural resources of Jammu and Kashmir.

This shows Pakistan’s true intentions for J&K. After having looted its fraction of the occupied territory of Jammu-Kashmir and selling a large chunk of the region to China for its CPEC project, it still desires to churn more profit from the Union Territory.

In the past three years, militancy has been choked at its source so Pakistan has been running amok to find reasons to disturb the region using such tricks. 
India has joined hands with a group of countries to work its way through this discovery and realize the dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India). It no longer has to worry about the financial burden of importing the metal.

 Upon hearing the news the US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources flew to India to discuss India’s clean energy transition. 

He traveled to some important cities and educational institutes that will run the clean energy initiative in the coming years. 

The urgency of the see vents is an indication of India’s powerful position, with Jammu and Kashmir at the forefront.J&K will be elemental in giving India a new lease on life. 

The domestic demands of the country will be satisfied and the UT’s economic expansion will be a by-product of India’s energy boom. 

Employment opportunities at all levels, skilled and unskilled, will include everyone in the process.

The plans for rehabilitation and compensation of the region’s population are already underway.

 Though the extraction of the mineral is not without challenges, independent committees, government bodies, and global experts are in conversation with the Union Government to employ the most sustainable methods.  

It is expected that the electric vehicles market size will surpass $800 billion by 2030. 

Therefore J&K will be playing a pivotal role in India’s share of this figure. Given India’s G20 presidency, it is an excellent opportunity for the Union Territory to showcase its potential, boost tourism and economic activity, and attract greater foreign investment.

 This feels like the beginning of a series of fortunate events in the history of the UT. 

The project will help in building ground for further exploration of the youngest mountains in the world, the Himalayas. 

At its all-time high, today one ton of lithium is valued at INR 57.36 lakhs. 

59 tonnes of the reserve would stand at INR 33,84,31,021 lakhs (3,384 billion rupees). 

The world is finally seeing Jammu and Kashmir as emerging power within the second fastest growing economy in the world, then a powerlessdestitute – a picture painted by Pakistan to draw public sympathy for personal gains.

Meanwhile, J&K has chosen peace and prosperity andcontinues to ignore Pakistan.