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Ministry of Mines to Initiate the First Tranche Auction of Critical and Strategic Minerals

Ministry of Mines to Initiate the First Tranche Auction of Critical and Strategic Minerals
  • On November 29, 2023, the Ministry of Mines is set to launch the inaugural tranche auction of critical and strategic minerals.
  • Twenty blocks featuring these essential minerals are being auctioned across the country, marking a historic initiative poised to stimulate economic growth, fortify national security, and bolster shift towards a sustainable energy future.
  • The significance of critical minerals cannot be overstated in the context of our nation's economic development and security. The limited availability or concentration of their extraction and processing in a few nations poses potential vulnerabilities in the global supply chain. The emerging global economy will heavily rely on technologies dependent on minerals such as lithium, graphite, cobalt, titanium, and rare earth elements (REE). India, committed to achieving 50% of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030, anticipates increased demand for electric cars, wind and solar energy projects, and battery storage systems, consequently driving the demand for these critical minerals.
  • Critical and Strategic Minerals are highly sought after, typically met through imports, and are integral to sectors like renewable energy, defense, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, high-tech electronics, telecommunications, transport, and the establishment of gigafactories.
  • An amendment in the MMDR Act on August 17, 2023, identified 24 minerals as Critical and Strategic minerals, granting the Central Government the authority to award mineral concessions for prioritized auctions based on the country's requirements.
  • Revenue generated from these auctions will accrue to State Governments. Subsequently, royalty rates for critical minerals have been rationalized to encourage greater participation in auctions. The government specified royalty rates for Platinum Group of Metals (PGM) at 4%, Molybdenum at 7.5%, Glauconite and Potash at 2.5% in March 2022. On October 12, 2023, royalty rates for Lithium were set at 3%, Niobium at 3%, and Rare Earth Elements at 1%.

Also Read: Weekly Current Affairs (Science & Technology) 4-10 November 2023 Bitbank: Where have IBM and AWS launched an Innovation Lab in India?

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Published date : 28 Nov 2023 05:05PM

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