Ministry of Mines
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Union Minister Shri Pralhad Joshi to Launch Second Tranche of Auction of Critical and Strategic Mineral Blocks Tomorrow

Posted On: 28 FEB 2024 4:35PM by PIB Delhi

Union Minister of Coal, Mines & Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Pralhad Joshi will be launching Second Tranche of Auction of Critical and Strategic Mineral Blocks on 29th February 2024. During the launch event, letters of financial grants will be handed over to the start-ups in mining and mineral sector. Additionally, Annual Capacity Building Plan for GSI will be released during the program.

Launch of the Second Tranche of the Auction of Critical and Strategic Minerals

Critical minerals are essential for our country’s economic development and national security. The lack of availability of these minerals or concentration of their extraction or processing in a few countries may lead to supply chain vulnerabilities. The future global economy will be underpinned by technologies that depend on minerals such as lithium, graphite, cobalt, titanium and rare earth elements (REE). India has committed to achieve 50% of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030. Such ambitious plan for energy transition is 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.

Critical and Strategic Minerals are in high demand and the demand is usually met by imports. Critical minerals cater to the needs of sectors like renewable energy, defence, agriculture, pharmaceutical, high-tech electronics, telecommunications, transport, creation of gigafactories etc.

Recently, through an amendment in the MMDR Act on 17th August 2023, 24 minerals were notified as Critical and Strategic minerals. The amendment confers the power to grant mineral concession of these minerals to the Central Government so that the Central Government can prioritise auction of these minerals looking at the requirements of the country. The revenue generated from these auctions shall accrue to the State Governments. Subsequently, royalty rates of critical minerals were rationalized to encourage more participation in auctions.

Subsequently, Union Minister Shri Pralhad Joshi launched 20 critical mineral blocks in the First Tranche of Auction of Critical and Strategic Minerals on 29th November 2023.

Upholding the vision to expedite the mineral exploration and development in the area of critical minerals, the Minister will be launching the 2nd Tranche of auction.

The commencement of sale of tender document shall start from 29th February 2024. Details of the mineral blocks, auction terms, timelines etc. shall be accessed on MSTC auction platform at www.mstcecommerce.com/auctionhome/mlcl/index.jsp from 29th February 2024. The auction shall be held online through a transparent 2 stage ascending forward auction process. The eligible bidder shall be selected based on the highest percentage of the value of mineral despatched quoted by them.

Handing over of letters of financial grants to start-ups in Mining and Mineral sector

The Ministry of Mines, Government of India has been funding research and development projects (R&D projects) of many research institutions in mining and metallurgy sector since 1978 for safety, economy, speed and efficiency in these sectors, under Science and Technology Programme (S&T programme) of Ministry of Mines.

Recently Ministry of Mines has enlarged the scope of the S&T programme by launching S&T-PRISM to fund research and innovation in starts up and MSME working in the field of mining and mineral sector to bridge up the gap between R&D and commercialisation as also to promote the ecosystem for complete value chain in mining and mineral sector.

Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Center, Nagpur, an autonomous body under the administrative control of Ministry of Mines has been made the Implementing Agency for S&T – PRISM.

The S&T PRISM was launched on 15thNovember 2023 for inviting proposals from starts up and MSME. This is the first time the Ministry is funding start-ups and the Union Minister Shri Pralhad Joshi will hand over the letters of financial grants to selected start-ups during the program on 29th February 2024.

Annual Capacity Building Plan (ACBP) for Geological Survey of India (GSI)

With over 6000 employees, GSI remains pivotal in India's journey to self-reliance towards mineral exploration. Under the Mission Karmayogi Bharat, the Capacity Building Commission has crafted an Annual Capacity Building Plan (ACBP) for the Geological Survey of India (GSI) to enhance competencies. ACBP will be released during the event.

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