New Delhi: Mines Secretary VL Kantha Rao said that the Ministry of Mines is in the process of auctioning 20 blocks of critical minerals, including lithium and graphite, in the next two weeks. Interacting with the media after inaugurating the mining pavilion “Connecting Beyond Mining” at the India International Trade Fair 2023 (IITF) on Tuesday, the Secretary said that for mining and processing of critical minerals, indigenous technology will be explored and added that around 10-12 players in the country have the technology to produce and process critical minerals.
“After making the policy on critical minerals, the next step is the auctioning of critical mineral blocks... Now we are almost ready to issue the auction notice. And in two weeks’ time, we will be issuing an auction notice for auctioning about 20 blocks that are related to critical minerals like lithium and graphite,” said the Secretary.
After the auction notice is published, a workshop will be organised in which all the stakeholders will be brought together and a national-level strategy on mining and processing of critical minerals will be made, said the Mines Secretary. Last month, the Centre had approved royalty rates of three percent each for lithium and niobium and one percent for Rare Earth Elements (REEs).
In his virtual message, Union Minister of Mines Pralhad Joshi said, “Minerals are integral part of our daily life and minerals serve as raw material for many industries but are also crucial and vital to energy transition to a low carbon-emission economy, and renewable energy technologies that will be required to meet the ‘Net Zero’ commitment as declared by our Hon’ble Prime Minister.”
Complimenting the officials for setting up the pavilion, Minister of State for Mines Raosaheb Patil Danve said in a virtual message that India is moving towards achieving self-reliance in every sector and the mining sector is also not behind in realising this dream. The Ministry of Mines is participating in the India International Trade Fair 2023 to showcase the success and opportunities of the mining sector.
The first five days of IITF 2023, from November 14 to 18, are exclusively reserved for business days and the fair will be opened to the general public from November 19 to 27. The fair timings are 10:00 am to 7:30 pm daily.