India to Begin Critical Mineral Blocks Auctions Later This Year – Will Reimburse Exploration

by | 30. Aug 2023 - 09:14 | Economy

The country is increasing efforts to boost the exploration of raw material deposits by reimbursing half of the costs.

India will start auctioning off almost 100 deposits of critical minerals later this year, Mines Secretary Vivek Bharadwaj said in an interview in New Delhi. According to Bloomberg, Bharadwaj clarified that nickel, lithium, cobalt, platinum, and rare earths deposits are being auctioned off.

In the context of India’s climate targets of achieving net-zero emissions by 2070, the country’s demands for critical minerals used in clean energy and electromobility, for example, are reaching new heights. With ambitious plans like constructing the world’s largest electric vehicle hub, demands are set to increase further. Yet, the world’s most populous country imports most raw materials despite having large deposits. For example, a large lithium deposit was discovered in the northern state of Jammu & Kashmir earlier this year.

The country will reimburse half of the exploration costs to incentivize local and international miners to participate in India’s rush for critical minerals. To mine a deposit, first, various stages of exploration will have to be conducted to establish the feasibility of mining operations. It takes multiple years until a mine is fully operational. In addition, mining is just the first step. Additional processing is needed for most of the raw materials auctioned off before they can be used in the designated technology.

Photo: iStock/Maksym Isachenko

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