NMDC is in talks with Australia's Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd for lithium exploration and mining, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

"Lithium exploration is at a very nascent stage, but we are talking to Hancock Prospecting for their investments into it," said the source, who didn't want to be named because he is not authorised to talk to media.

Separately, NMDC is working on plans to export low-grade iron ore to China, the source said. NMDC could collaborate with another company to process and ship out the ore to China, he said.

Also read: Why India could have a lot more lithium

The miner is also expecting to receive forest clearances by June for diamond mining in the Panna area of Madhya Pradesh, the source said.

NMDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shares of the company rose up to 1.5 per cent after the news.