The government of India has reportedly committed to investing $6 million alongside the Australian government to invest in exploration for lithium and cobalt mines in the coming six months – and has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with its partner to that effect.
Government officials told Reuters that, in a bid to ensure it has key mineral suppliers to advance its electric vehicle plans, India's KABIL – a joint venture between state-run firms National Aluminium, Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration – has already signed a preliminary agreement with Australia's Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO) for the effort.
Under the terms of the deal, CMFO and KABIL will perform “joint due diligence of select greenfield and brownfield projects to identify Lithium and Cobalt mineral assets for final joint investment decisions and acquisition,” Indian government officials said.
The deal also allows for any other Indian state-run firm to be included as an investment partner, as the country is targeting completion of its work and next-step investment decisions in the coming half year.
India is currently offering incentives totaling $2.4 million to companies in the country to build battery cells locally for EVs. So far, it has shortlisted Latin American countries such as Argentina, Bolivia and Chile for international exploration.