Nalco and Hind Copper share price surge as Kabil seals lithium exploration deal in Argentina

Shares of National Aluminium Co Ltd (Nalco) and Hindustan Copper Ltd witnessed a robust uptrend, each gaining nearly 5 percent. This surge followed the announcement that Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (Kabil), a joint venture involving Nalco, Hindustan Copper, and Mineral Exploration Company Ltd, had finalized a deal with Argentina’s Camyen SE for lithium exploration and mining.

Nalco’s stock rose by 4.4 percent to Rs 143, while Hind Copper experienced a 4.9 percent jump to Rs 268. Notably, Nalco and Hind Copper exhibited impressive performances in 2023, with Nalco advancing by 64 percent, and Hind Copper gaining 150 percent.

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The agreement grants exclusive rights to Kabil for evaluating, prospecting, and exploring lithium in Argentina. Upon discovery, it secures exploitation rights for commercial production in five lithium brine blocks situated in Argentina’s Catamarca province. These blocks, covering a vast 15,703 hectares and involving a cost of Rs 200 crore, were detailed in an exchange filing by Nalco.

Argentina, a prominent player in the ‘Lithium Triangle’ alongside Chile and Bolivia, possesses over half of the world’s lithium resources. This trio ranks second, third, and fourth globally in both lithium reserves and production. Kabil, established to explore critical minerals globally, strengthens India’s lithium sourcing strategy and brings expertise in brine-type lithium exploration.

In the pursuit of lithium for electric vehicles, India uncovered its first deposits in Jammu and Kashmir last year. The government, aiming to secure critical minerals, including lithium and graphite, invited bids for 20 mineral blocks in November, further highlighting the strategic importance of such ventures.