The Geological Survey of India on Tuesday denied claims by the Rajasthan government that large reserves of lithium have been found in the state, reported The Indian Express.

The statement came hours after Rajasthan Mining Minister Pramod Bhaya claimed that a survey completed by the Geological Survey in Nagaur district’s Degana tehsil showed that there is an abundant reserve of lithium, reported ANI. He also claimed that the lithium reserve in Rajasthan was much more than what had been found in Jammu and Kashmir earlier this year.

On February 10, the Union Ministry of Mines had said that it discovered 5.9 million tonnes of lithium resources in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Lithium is a rare mineral and an essential component of rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles and electronic gadgets like smartphone and laptops. The supply of lithium is essential as government plans to meet its decarbonisation goals by boosting sales of electric vehicles in the country.

India has largely relied on imports from countries like Hong Kong, China and Indonesia for lithium supply.

However, soon after Bhaya made the claim, the Geological Survey clarified that no such discovery has been made in the state.

“Media reports published in various newspapers regarding the finding of large lithium reserves by the Geological Survey of India, in Degana area, Nagaur district, Rajasthan, are completely baseless and misleading,” the survey body said, reported The Indian Express. “It is to state that no such information was provided by the regional headquarters or the central headquarters of the GSI [Geological Survey of India].”

However, the organisation also said that it is still carrying out exploration for tungsten, lithium and associated rare metals in Degana since 2019-’20 and the drilling work is still under progress.