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Maiki South Mining secures India’s first lithium block in Chhattisgarh

New Delhi, June 24 (TBB Bureau):  In a groundbreaking move, Maiki South Mining Pvt Ltd has secured the country’s first lithium block, marking a significant milestone for India’s mining sector. The company clinched the Katghora Lithium and rare earth elements (REE) block in Chhattisgarh at an auction premium of 76.05 percent, the government announced on Monday.

This landmark acquisition was declared during the launch of the fourth round of auctions for critical and strategic minerals, underscoring the government’s commitment to bolstering the sector. Union Minister of Coal and Mines, G Kishan Reddy, officiated the event, highlighting the sale of 21 blocks, including 11 new blocks across various states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Karnataka.

Minister Reddy emphasized the positive impact of the 2015 reforms in the mining and mineral sector, noting their continued benefits. He praised the progressive measures that have streamlined processes and encouraged more significant investments and participation.

V L Kantha Rao, the Mines Secretary, echoed the minister’s sentiments and assured that the mines ministry is poised to expedite production from these critical mineral resources. Rao also committed to introducing reforms in the mining sector every 15 days, ensuring continuous improvement and adaptation to market needs.

The fourth round of auctions drew substantial interest, with the government receiving 56 physical and 56 online bids for 18 of the 20 blocks offered. However, the auction for 13 blocks was canceled due to insufficient response, leading to the re-notification of seven blocks for the third round of auctions.

Maiki South Mining’s successful bid for the Katghora block not only sets a precedent for future lithium and REE exploration but also aligns with India’s broader strategy to secure essential minerals critical for technological advancement and energy security. The acquisition signifies a pivotal step towards reducing India’s dependency on mineral imports and fostering a self-reliant mineral industry.

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