BENGALURU, May 2 (Reuters) – Indian iron ore miner NMDC Ltd (NMDC.NS) is in talks with Australia’s Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd for lithium exploration and mining, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
Countries across the world are racing to secure lithium supplies for rechargeable batteries for future fleets of electric vehicles in the global transition to green energy.
India, which found its first reserves of the mineral in February, has also been exploring ways to shore up supplies by acquiring overseas mines.
“Lithium exploration is at a very nascent stage, but we are talking to Hancock Prospecting for their investments into it,” said the source, who didn’t want to be named because he is not authorised to talk to media.
NMDC shares rose as much as 1.8% Tuesday on the news.
The miner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Separately, NMDC is also working on plans to export low-grade iron ore to China, the source said. The miner could collaborate with another company to process and ship out the ore to China, he said.
China is India’s biggest iron ore customer, importing around 80% of India’s overall shipments.
Indian producers of low-grade ores largely depend on foreign markets because most major domestic steel producers use high-grade iron ores.
NMDC is also expecting to receive forest clearances by June for diamond mining in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the source said.
The mine produces around 10 carats of diamond per 100 tonnes of Kimberlite processed, according to the details provided by the company on its website.
Reporting by Neha Arora, Editing by Mayank Bhardwaj
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