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Hindustan Zinc keen to participate in lithium auctions: CEO Arun Mishra

Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) is keen to acquire lithium assets as and when they are put on the block for auctions, CEO Arun Mishra said

Lithium reserves

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) is keen to acquire lithium assets as and when they are put on the block for auctions, CEO Arun Mishra said.
Lithium reserves of about 5.9 million tonnes have been identified in Salal-Haimna areas of Reasi district in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for the first time in India.
Auctions of the said reserves are likely to be held in December. The J&K administration is also in the process of appointing a transaction advisor.
"Absolutely. Why not?" Hindustan Zinc is already in the base metal (sector). Whatever lithium asset will come it will be strategic interest, Mishra told PTI in reply to a question on plans of acquiring lithium reserves.
The CEO further said, "As base metals are our (company's) area of interest and lithium being one of them, we look forward to exploring the opportunities as such metals are going to be the future which will drive the new world."

Therefore, HZL is open to participate in auctions for the lithium reserves, he added.
Lithium is a non-ferrous metal and is one of the key components of batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs), a segment which is on growth path in India.
On the company's plan about offer for sale (OFS), Mishra said, "it is in the hands of the government of India and I'm sure they're looking for suitable opportunity in the market..."

The government owns about 29.54 per cent stake in HZL.
In February, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey had said the government is likely to sell a part of its residual stake in HZL by March to help it achieve the revised disinvestment target of Rs 50,000 crore for FY23.
When asked about Zinc International's acquisition and whether the plan is still under works, Mishra said, "last financial year when the board meeting happened...it could not be taken up because of lack of consensus among various stakeholders, including government of India.
"So we are there and I don't think I will be able to add any more comment to them.

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First Published: Jul 23 2023 | 2:32 PM IST

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