Auction of critical mineral blocks to happen in next few weeks: Mines Ministry

The auction of critical mineral blocks will take place in the next few weeks, Mines Additional Secretary Sanjay Lohiya said
Auction of critical mineral blocks to happen in next few weeks: Mines Ministry
Auction of critical mineral blocks to happen in next few weeks: Mines MinistryEnergy Watch

New Delhi: The auction of critical mineral blocks will take place in the next few weeks, Mines Additional Secretary Sanjay Lohiya said on Thursday. Critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements are essential components in rapidly growing clean energy technologies from wind turbines and electricity networks to electric vehicles.

Demand for these minerals is growing quickly as the clean energy transition is gathering pace. However, Lohiya did not specify the number of blocks which would be put up on offer.

'Periodicity of auction of critical mineral blocks will depend on demand'

Replying to a query during CII's India Mining Summit, the Additional Secretary said various steps have been taken with regard to the auction of critical minerals. The periodicity of auction will depend on the availability of mines and demand, he said.

Govt looking to acquire critical mineral assets abroad through KABIL

Recently, the government released a list of 30 critical minerals. These minerals include antimony, beryllium, bismuth, cobalt, copper, gallium, germanium, graphite, hafnium, indium, lithium, molybdenum, niobium, nickel and silicon. The mines ministry has increased its focus on the exploration of these minerals in the country through the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and other agencies.

A joint venture company namely Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) has been incorporated with equity contribution from three Central Public Sector Enterprises: National Aluminium Company (NALCO) Ltd, Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Company Ltd (MECL).

KABIL was incorporated with the objective to identify and acquire overseas mineral assets of critical and strategic nature such as lithium, cobalt and others, so as to ensure supply-side assurance. KABIL has engagements with countries like Argentina and Australia to acquire critical and strategic minerals assets.

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