Government auctions 11 new blocks of critical minerals

Union Minister of Coal and Mines G Kishan Reddy and Minister of State for Coal and Mines Satish Chandra Dubey were present on the occasion.
Government auctions 11 new blocks of critical minerals

BENGALURU: The central government on Monday auctioned 21 blocks of critical minerals. This is the fourth tranche of the auctions of critical minerals by the Centre. Out of these 21 blocks, 11 are fresh blocks across six states -- Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

These blocks contain a variety of minerals including graphite, Glauconite, Phosphorite, Potash, Nickel, PGE, Phosphate and Rare Earth Elements (REE). In a press statement issued by the Ministry of Mines, it was said that as part of the 4th tranche, 10 critical mineral blocks are on offer as the second attempt blocks of previous tranches of auction.

These 10 blocks are located in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu and have important critical minerals like Tungsten, Vanadium, Graphite, Glauconite, Cobalt and Nickel.

Union Minister of Coal and Mines G Kishan Reddy and Minister of State for Coal and Mines Satish Chandra Dubey were present on the occasion.

The occasion also witnessed string of other events like declaration the preferred bidders for the 6 blocks put up in auction during the 1st Tranche; handing over of certificates to 02 newly Notified Private Exploration Agencies (NPEAs); handing over of the sanction letters to R&D institutes and announcement of scheme for partial reimbursement of exploration expenses by exploration licence holders.

Union Minister of Coal and Mines also handed over certificates to 2 newly Notified Private Exploration Agencies (NPEAs) in the programme.

“This is in line with the aim to increase the pace of exploration in the country and to bring advanced technology in the exploration of minerals, for which the MMDR Act, 1957 was amended in 2021 to allow notification of private exploration agencies (PEAs) who can undertake exploration operations without a prospecting licence,” said a Ministry of Mines statement. With the notification of these two private agencies, the total of NPEAs has increased to 22. Till now, 31 projects for different commodities have been taken by the NPEAs from NMET fund amounting to approximately Rs 35.23 crore.

Blocks contain a variety of minerals

These blocks contain a variety of minerals including graphite, Glauconite, Phosphorite, Potash, Nickel, PGE, Phosphate and Rare Earth Elements). In a statement issued by the Ministry of Mines, it was said as part of 4th tranche, 10 critical mineral blocks are on offer as second attempt blocks of previous tranches of auction.

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