Jammu and Kashmir, India’s federally managed area, will sell off its lithium deposits in the coming weeks, according to a government source familiar with the situation.

India, which has been looking into methods to secure supply of lithium, a vital raw element needed in the production of electric car batteries, discovered its first lithium deposits in Jammu and Kashmir in February, with estimated reserves of 5.9 million tonnes.

“The auction will happen soon and some overseas miners have shown interest,” the source said, declining to be identified because of the sensitive nature of discussions.

The federal mines ministry did not immediately reply to a Reuters email seeking comments.

This story was originally published in firstpost.com. Read the full story here