Hot on the heels of the launch of the first round of auction of critical and strategic minerals, the Centre has announced that it will put another 100 blocks under the hammer in February 2024.
"More than 100 blocks of strategic and critical minerals will be brought for auction next year before February, and these blocks are ready with us," Union Minister of Mines Pralhad Joshi said during the launch event of the National Geoscience Data Repository (NGDR) portal.
It may be recalled that centre put up twenty blocks of critical minerals for auction, opening them to commercial mining by the private sector. The first such auction was launched by Pralhad Joshi, on 29 November and bids can be submitted until 22 January next year.
Besides Lithium, the minerals on offer are titanium, bauxite (aluminous laterite), glauconite, nickel, chromium, potash, copper, graphite, manganese ore, molybdenum ore, phosphorite, platinum group elements (PGE), and rare earth elements (REE). These minerals find applications in sectors such as renewable energy, defence, and agriculture.
These blocks are spread across seven states — seven blocks in Tamil Nadu, four in Odisha, three in Bihar, two in Uttar Pradesh, and one each in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh — and one in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
As part of India's first-ever auction for critical mineral blocks, the Mines ministry recently organised a roadshow to spread awareness about the technicalities of the auction process.
Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi additionally conveyed optimism, anticipating the successful conclusion of the entire auction process within 103 days from its initiation. The industry has responded positively to the auction, providing encouraging feedback, he added.
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