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Ministry of Mines to auction 20 blocks of critical minerals in next two weeks
Photo Courtesy: PIB

Ministry of Mines to auction 20 blocks of critical minerals in next two weeks

| @indiablooms | 14 Nov 2023, 10:23 pm

New Delhi: Mines Secretary V.L. Kantha Rao on Tuesday 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.

Rao was interacting with the media, after inaugurating the mining pavilion “Connecting Beyond Mining” at the India International Trade Fair 2023 (IITF) in New Delhi's Pragati Maidan.

The secretary said that for mining and processing of critical minerals indigenous technology will be explored.

Recently the government has identified a list of critical minerals including new-age minerals like Lithium, Cobalt, and Titanium, important for meeting the modern needs of cutting-edge technology sectors like electronics, telecom, transport and defence.

According to the Mines Ministry, there are many accredited private exploration agencies empanelled to step up the pace of exploration in the country as a result of recent reforms to open the mining sector for private participation and in particular mineral exploration.

Lithium and rare earth elements (REEs) have become increasingly important in light of the country's dedication to energy transition and the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.

In February, India, which has been actively seeking ways to secure a stable supply of lithium—an essential raw material for electric vehicle batteries—discovered its initial lithium deposits in Jammu and Kashmir, estimating reserves at 5.9 million tonnes.

Established in August 2019, KABIL (Khanij Bidesh India Ltd) was created to identify, acquire, develop, and process strategic minerals from abroad for use within India.

As one of the major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, India has been engaging in international agreements to ensure access to vital minerals in resource-rich nations like Australia, Argentina, and Chile.

With the global shift away from traditional gasoline-powered engines, there is a surging demand for metals like lithium, nickel, cobalt, and others used in lithium-ion batteries.

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