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India's big lithium find fuels hopes and fears in Jammu and Kashmir

Deposits could power EV boom but also affect environment, Pakistan tensions

India has big ambitions to expand its EV industry, and the "inferred" lithium deposits found in Jammu and Kashmir could help reduce its reliance on imported battery materials.   © Reuters

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir -- For about four years, Vipin Sharma watched curiously as workers from the Geological Survey of India (GSI) poked around near his home in Salal, in the Pir Panjal mountain range in Jammu and Kashmir. He saw them collecting samples but did not know what they were looking for in the village of almost 2,500 households.

Last month, Sharma got his answer. The GSI announced that it had found an "inferred" 5.9 million tonnes of lithium, a key ingredient in batteries for electric vehicles and a host of other products.

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