Govt to launch 2nd auction of critical mineral blocks on Feb 29

  • IANS
  • Stock Market News
Govt to launch 2nd auction of critical mineral blocks on Feb 29
Credit: © Reuters.

New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi will be launching the second tranche of Auction of Critical and Strategic Mineral Blocks on Thursday (February 29), an official said on Wednesday. During the launch event, letters of financial grants will also be handed over to start-ups in the mining and mineral sector. Additionally, Annual Capacity Building Plan for GSI will be released during the programme.

Critical minerals such as lithium, graphite, cobalt, titanium and rare earth elements (REE) are essential for India's economic development and national security.

Currently, the extraction of these minerals is dominated by a few countries such as China which may lead to supply chain vulnerabilities.

Critical minerals cater to the needs of sectors like electronics, electric vehicles, renewable energy, defence, high-tech telecommunications, agriculture, pharmaceutical and creation of gigafactories.

These minerals are in high demand, which is met mainly by imports.

The future global economy will be underpinned by technologies that depend on these critical minerals and India has committed to achieve 50 per cent of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030.

The ambitious plans for energy transition are set to drive the demand for electric cars, wind and solar energy projects and battery storage systems, thereby increasing the demand for these critical minerals.

Through an amendment in the MMDR Act on August 17 last year, 24 minerals were notified as critical and strategic minerals.

The amendment confers the power to grant mineral concessions for these minerals to the Central government so that it can prioritise auction of these minerals by looking at the requirements of the country.

The revenue generated from these auctions shall accrue to the state governments.

Subsequently, royalty rates of critical minerals were rationalised to encourage more participation in auctions.

Subsequently, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi launched 20 critical mineral blocks in the First Tranche of Auction of Critical and Strategic Minerals on November 29.

--IANS

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