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BusinessAround 20 critical mineral blocks to be put on sale by June-end:...

Around 20 critical mineral blocks to be put on sale by June-end: Mines secretary



The government will put on sale around 20 critical mineral blocks in the fourth round of auction by the end of June, mines secretary V L Kantha Rao said on Monday.

Rao further said that the auction process for seven critical mineral blocks put on sale in the first round is almost complete and the result would be declared in a month's time.

Critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements are essential components in many of today's rapidly growing clean energy technologies –- from wind turbines and electricity networks to electric vehicles.

Demand for these minerals is growing quickly with clean energy transitions gathering pace.

Speaking during an event, Rao said, “When it comes to mining, we have done a lot of auctions. We have put 38 blocks (critical mineral) on auction… We are going to come up with the next auction in end June so this auction process will continue,” the secretary explained.

Rao said that due to the government's efforts, the exploration of a lot of critical blocks was undertaken in the last two years.

Consequently, over 100 critical mineral blocks are on the table for taking up for auction.

“So there is enough supply available. We would want the industry to come up and study these blocks and bid for them,” the secretary said.

The government's focus on the critical mineral exploration is at the highest, he said. The mines ministry, he said, will also start the auction of offshore mines in another three months time.

The government had earlier said that it has cancelled the auction for 13 of the 20 blocks put on sale in the first tranche as the response was lukewarm. Of the 20 blocks on offer, 56 physical bids and 56 online bids were received for 18 blocks.

Among the cancelled blocks, seven mines have been notified for auction under the third round.

The second round of auction covering six blocks have been completed as per schedule.

The decision on kundol, nickel and chromium blocks in Gujarat will be taken by the designated officer in due course of time, the statement had said.

The Centre has launched the auction of 38 critical and strategic minerals to date.




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