India Releases Critical Minerals Catalog

by | 29. Jun 2023 - 11:20 | Politics

The list contains 30 elements deemed essential for economic development and national security.

The Indian Government has published the “Critical Minerals for India” list, containing 30 elements that are considered crucial for economic development and national security. India’s Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal, and Mines of India, Pralhad Joshi, unveiled the catalog on Tuesday, highlighting that it is the first of its kind for the world’s most populous country. According to a press release by the Ministry of Mines, the list is a central element of reaching “Aatmanirbharbharat,” which translates to “self-reliant India,” a phrase popularized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, emphasizing the country´s economic goals of becoming more competitive, efficient, and resilient.

The now unveiled list covers elements that are crucial for fields like clean energy and electromobility but also agriculture, pharmaceutics, and defense. Elements contained in the inventory include cobalt, gallium, germanium, hafnium, lithium, and rare earth elements, among others. The catalog is designed to serve as a guiding framework for policies for and investments in India’s mining sector. Additionally, the Indian government also stated that it will revisit this list periodically and add or remove elements according to global and domestic developments.

India’s Steps Towards Self-Reliance

Currently, India imports most of the catalog’s contents from foreign nations but has made multiple discoveries of deposits of elements from the list recently. In February, the Ministry of Mines announced the discovery of lithium for the first time on the subcontinent, followed by Indian Rare Earths Limited’s statement to increase its output of rare earth elements by 400 percent. India joined the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) just last week following Modi’s state visit to Washington, D.C. where he met with his American counterpart President Joe Biden. The two countries reaffirmed their partnership and emphasized the importance of extending collaboration in fields like technologies and raw materials, according to a joint statement. MSP is a U.S.-led association to create resilient and secure critical minerals supply chains. Besides the U.S., India joined Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the European Union in the organization.

Photo: iStock/Derek Brumby

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