Indian firms set up JV to mine for lithium, cobalt overseas

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Three Indian state-run companies are to form a joint venture to buy mining assets overseas that have minerals such as lithium and cobalt, which are used in the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles.

The National Aluminium Co Ltd will hold a 40% stake in the joint venture called Khanij Bidesh India Ltd, with Hindustan Copper Ltd and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd controlling 30% each, India’s mines ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

“Among such twelve minerals identified as strategic minerals, which have meagre resource base, lithium and cobalt are significant,” the statement said.

The new joint venture “will help in building partnerships with other mineral rich countries like Australia and those in Africa and South America,” the mines ministry said.

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan. Editing by Jane Merriman