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Govt to Auction Another 20 Critical Mining Blocks Soon

New Delhi: The government plans to put up another 20-odd critical mineral blocks for auction in the next round by the end of June, Secretary of the Ministry of Mines VL Kantha Rao said on Monday.

He also said that the result of the auction process of seven critical mineral blocks held recently was being finalised and would be declared within a month.

Critical minerals such as lithium, chromium, nickel, graphite, cobalt, titanium and rare earth elements are essential raw materials for sectors like electronics, electric vehicles, renewable energy, defence and high-tech telecommunications. Currently, the extraction of these minerals is dominated by a few countries such as China which makes the supply chain vulnerable to geopolitical uncertainties.

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. India has committed to achieve 50 per cent of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030.

Rao said that due to the government’s efforts, the exploration of critical blocks was accelerated over the last two years as a result of which over 100 critical mineral blocks are now in the pipeline and will be put up for auction.

He urged the industry to study the data on these blocks to gain insight into the opportunities that are now available.

Rao was speaking at the Critical Minerals Summit being held here to foster collaboration, share knowledge and drive innovation in the field of critical mineral beneficiation and processing.

The summit is bringing together a diverse array of Indian and international stakeholders, including industry leaders, startups, government officials, scientists, academics, and policy experts.

The goal of the Critical Minerals Summit is to equip government and industry stakeholders with the knowledge, connections, and tools necessary to accelerate the domestic production of critical minerals to support India’s economic growth and sustainability objectives.


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