Govt to auction 30 critical minerals for strategic mining
09 Dec 2023
The central government on Wednesday initiated the process of auction of critical minerals, perhaps for the first time in the country, and has identified 30 minerals for strategic mining.
The decision to auction critical mineral blocks for mining follows the amendments made in the MMDR Act, 1957 through the MMDR Amendment Act, 2023. The amendment added 24 critical and strategic minerals to the MMDR Act, which have been identified as critical and strategic minerals for the country.
The amended Act has also empowered the central government to auction mining blocks of these minerals. Revenue from auction of these blocks will accrue to the respective states where these mineral blocks are situated. Government of India launched the first tranche of auction of these minerals on 29 November 2023 for 20 blocks of critical and strategic minerals.
The first round of auction included glauconite (potash) blocks in Chutia-Nauhatta and Pipradih-Bhurwa in Bihar and Kurchha in Uttar Pradesh;
Potash blocks in Muskaniya-Gareriatola-Barwari in Jarkhand;
Blocks bearing nickel, platinum group elements and chromium in Genjana, Bihar;
Nickel and copper blocks in Kundol in Gujarat and East Dudhiasol in Odisha;
Graphite and manganese blocks in Babja and Akharkata in Odisha; and Kurunjakulam and Iluppakudi in Tamil Nadu;
Molybdenum blocks in Central Vellakal, Nochchipatti, North Velampatti, Central Mannadipatti and Central Marudipatti in Tamil Nadu;
Phosphorite blocks in Pahadi Kalan - Gora Kalan in Uttar Pradesh;
Lithium, titanium and bauxite (Aluminous Laterite) blocks in Salal-Haimna in Jammu & Kashmir; and
Lithium and rare earth elements in Katghora in Chhatisgarh.
Union minister of coal, mines and parliamentary affairs Pralhad Joshi stated this in written reply in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.