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Indian firms form joint venture to hunt for lithium, cobalt assets abroad

Three Indian companies agreed to form a joint venture to look for lithium and cobalt reserves abroad after the government gave them the mandate to do so last year.

Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. will be owned 40% by National Aluminium Co. Ltd., while Hindustan Copper Ltd. and Mineral Exploration Corp. Ltd will each hold a 30% stake apiece. Khanij Bidesh will forge partnerships with other countries, such as Australia and those in Africa and South America, to acquire and develop mineral assets.

According to an Aug. 1 release by the Indian government, the joint venture will help India achieve its goal of cutting emissions by focusing on electric vehicles that use the strategic minerals and eventually reduce reliance on imports.

The partnership was first announced last year, with lithium and cobalt identified as priorities as the country does not have known local sources of the battery metals.