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Auction of 20 critical minerals worth Rs 45,000 cr launched by govt

Auction of 20 critical minerals worth Rs 45,000 cr launched by govt

New Delhi: Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi launched the auction of 20 essential minerals, valued at Rs 45,000 crore, on Wednesday.

Of the 20 minerals put on sale, two are lithium blocks, Joshi said.

One of the lithium blocks is in Jammu & Kashmir, while the other is in Chhattisgarh.

"For the first time, ever we have identified critical and deep-seated minerals. We have not just identified it but we have also put it up for auction today," the minister told reporters here.

The 20 blocks on sale are across various states, including Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Bihar, he said. "The total worth of these blocks is Rs 45,000 crore," Joshi said, adding that the entire revenue accrued from these mineral blocks will go to the states.

The minister further said the auction process will close on February 20. Of the 20 mineral blocks, 16 have been put up for grant of composite licence and four for grant of mining lease.

"Today's launch of auctions is only the first tranche. We will continue to add more blocks of critical minerals in subsequent tranches...Not only this, based on industry feedback we will continue to amend the relevant laws in order to make it easier to operate in the domain of clean energy technologies," Joshi said.

India in February found its first lithium deposits in Jammu & Kashmir with estimated reserves of 5.9 million tonnes.

In July, India tweaked its mining rules by allowing the entry of private miners to search for the materials.

Critical minerals have become important for the nation's economic development and national security.

There is a high demand for critical and strategic minerals. Their demand is usually met by imports. Critical minerals cater to the needs of sectors like renewable energy, defence, and agriculture.

These minerals are essential for the economic development of the country and its security.

With PTI inputs

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