20 critical mineral blocks to go on sale

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The auction will take place online via two stage ascending forward auction process. The sale of tender document will begin from November 29, 2023, the Mines Ministry said in a statement.  Photo: X/@MinesMinIndia

The government will launch the first round of auction of critical and strategic minerals on November 29, putting 20 blocks under the hammer.

Twenty blocks of critical and strategic minerals being put on sale are spread across the country, an official statement said.

Critical minerals cater to the needs of sectors such as renewable energy, defence and agriculture.

The auction will take place online via two stage ascending forward auction process. The sale of tender document will begin from November 29, the Mines Ministry said in a statement on November 28.

“Details of the mineral blocks, auction terms, timelines etc. can be accessed on MSTC auction platform,” the statement said. The revenue generated from these auctions will accrue to the States.

“This is a landmark initiative that will boost our economy, enhance national security and support our transition to a clean energy future,” the Ministry said.

There is high demand for critical and strategic minerals. Their demand is usually met by imports. Critical minerals are essential for our economic development, the country and its security, the official statement said.

“The lack of availability of these minerals or concentration of their extraction or processing in a few countries may lead to supply chain vulnerabilities. The future global economy will be underpinned by technologies that depend on minerals such as lithium, graphite, cobalt, titanium and rare earth elements (REE),” it said.

India has committed to achieve 50 per cent of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030. Such an ambitious plan for energy transition is set to drive the demand for electric cars, wind and solar energy projects as well as battery storage systems thereby increasing the demand for these critical minerals.

Recently, 24 minerals were notified as critical and strategic minerals through an amendment in the mining rule.

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