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Govt plans auction of 20 critical mineral blocks by June end

New Delhi, April 29, 2024 (TBB Bureau):  The Union government is set to auction approximately 20 critical mineral blocks in the fourth round of auctions by the end of June, announced Mines Secretary V L Kantha Rao on Monday. Rao mentioned that the auction process for seven critical mineral blocks, initially put up for sale in the first round, is nearing completion, with results expected within a month.

Critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt, and rare earth elements are indispensable components in various rapidly expanding clean energy technologies, including wind turbines, electricity networks, and electric vehicles. The demand for these minerals is swiftly increasing as clean energy transitions gain momentum.

Speaking at thr event “Critical Minerals Summit: Enhancing Beneficiation and Processing Capabilities”, Rao emphasized the government’s proactive approach towards mining auctions. He revealed that a total of 38 critical mineral blocks have been put up for auction, with the next round scheduled for the end of June. Rao highlighted the significant exploration efforts undertaken by the government in the past two years, resulting in over 100 critical mineral blocks available for auction.

Rao encouraged industry players to thoroughly evaluate these blocks and participate in the bidding process, ensuring a steady supply of critical minerals. He underscored the government’s unwavering focus on critical mineral exploration, with plans to commence the auction of offshore mines within the next three months.

Previously, the government had canceled the auction for 13 out of the 20 blocks offered in the first tranche due to tepid response. Despite this, a total of 56 physical bids and 56 online bids were received for 18 blocks out of the 20 on offer.

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